Molecule of the Month
December 2021

SARS-CoV-2 Spike Variants

SARS-CoV-2 is constantly changing, posing new challenges during the COVID19 pandemic


3D View:  7V7Q




Health Focus: Cancer Biology and Therapeutics

Cells in our bodies are carefully regulated so that they divide, grow, and die according to the best plan for keeping us alive. When they lose these controls, they can grow into deadly cancers. Atomic structures have revealed how cell growth is normally controlled, and how cancer cells circumvent these essential controls. Explore PDB-101 Resources to learn about proteins related to cancer biology and therapeutics.

2022 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer

RCSB PDB invites all high school students to tell a two-minute story that combines structural Biology and Public Health. Videos can be submited between January 18 and April 25, 2022.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Learn | Participate | Resources | Rules

2022 Video Challenge key visual: synaptic region with one fused vesicle
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank

In 1971, the structural biology community established the single worldwide archive for macromolecular structure data–-the Protein Data Bank (PDB). In 2021, RCSB PDB and wwPDB are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the PDB with symposia, materials, and more.

Learn: Materials for Exploration
PDB-101 resources and 3D structures of COVID-19 proteins.
Teach: Curricula
The RCSB PDB Curricula provide authentic, hands-on teaching materials, individual and group activities and assessment suggestions.
Education Corner: Using PDB Resources
The SARS-CoV-2 Virion: Magnifying the Miniscule with Models of Digital, Plastic, and Paper by Samuel A. McKie, Chapel Prints Co
SciArt Galleries
Irving Geis (1908-1997) was a gifted artist who helped illuminate the field of structural biology with his iconic images. The Geis Digital Archive features many of his illustrations in the context of their molecular structures.

Images used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( All rights reserved.


Hemoglobin (1000)

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Ribonuclease S


Induced Lac Repressor

Myoglobin Fold

Cytochrome c (unbound)


Hemoglobin S




Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)


Lysozyme (512)

Carboxypeptidase A

Cytochrome c

Lysozyme (488)


Immunoglobulin G (IgG)


TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)



Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S

Lac Repressor

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex


Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

The Molecular Landscapes by David S. Goodsell integrate information from structural biology, microscopy and biophysics to simulate detailed views of the molecular structure of living cells.

Illustrations are free for use under a CC-BY-4.0 license

Red Blood Cell Cytoskeleton

Transfer RNA and Gag Protein

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

RecA and DNA

Ebola Virus

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Immunological Synapse


Respiratory Droplet

Escherichia coli Bacterium


SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine

Myoglobin in a Whale Muscle Cell

Mycoplasma mycoides

Cellulose Synthase

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Last Universal Common Ancestor


Biosites: Nucleus

Coronavirus Life Cycle



HIV in Blood Plasma

Insulin Action

Influenza Vaccine

Escherichia coli


Collagen and Extracellular Matrix

Zika Virus

Lipid Droplets

Biosites: Basement Membrane

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion

Casein Micelle and Fat Globule in Milk

Biosites: Muscle


Measles Virus Proteins

Poliovirus Neutralization

Biosites: Blood Plasma