Molecule of the Month
May 2022

Nicotine, Cancer, and Addiction

Nicotine causes addiction by interacting with receptors in the brain


3D View:  6PV7




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

Thanks to all challenge participants, expert judges, teachers, parents, and voters who made this competition happen.

Congratulations to the 2022 Winners!

Winner, First Place Winner, Second Winner, Third Winner, Viewers Choice

Stuyvesant High School Team
New York, NY

South Brunswick High School Team
South Brunswick, NJ

Jericho High School Team
Jericho, NY

Riverdale Country School Team
New York, NY

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
Python Scripting for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology by Jessica A. Nash (MolSSI) and Paul A. Craig (Rochester Institute of Technology)
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.

Cytochrome c (unbound)

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Myoglobin Fold






Hemoglobin S


Induced Lac Repressor

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

Lac Repressor

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)



Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)


Cytochrome c

Carboxypeptidase A

Lysozyme (488)

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Lysozyme (512)




Ribonuclease S

Hemoglobin (1000)

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

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Respiratory Droplet


Escherichia coli Bacterium

Zika Virus

Measles Virus Proteins

Cellulose Synthase

RecA and DNA

Ebola Virus

Biosites: Nucleus

HIV in Blood Plasma

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine

Influenza Vaccine

Casein Micelle and Fat Globule in Milk

Poliovirus Neutralization


Insulin Action

Coronavirus Life Cycle

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Model of a Mycoplasma Cell

Last Universal Common Ancestor

Lipid Droplets

Transfer RNA and Gag Protein


Biosites: Basement Membrane

Mycoplasma mycoides

Red Blood Cell Cytoskeleton

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Escherichia coli

Biosites: Muscle

Biosites: Cytoplasm



Myoglobin in a Whale Muscle Cell

Collagen and Extracellular Matrix


JCVI-syn3A Minimal Cell


Biosites: Blood Plasma

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VegF) Signaling

Immunological Synapse