PDB-101: Educational Resources Supporting Molecular Explorations Through Biology and Medicine

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Protein Sci. 2021 Oct 3. doi: 10.1002/pro.4200. Online ahead of print.


The Protein Data Bank (PDB) archive is a rich source of information in the form of atomic-level 3D structures of biomolecules experimentally determined using macromolecular crystallography (MX), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and electron microscopy (3DEM). Originally established in 1971 as a resource for protein crystallographers to freely exchange data, today PDB data drive research and education across scientific disciplines. In 2011, the online portal PDB-101 was launched to support teachers, students, and the general public in PDB archive exploration (pdb101.rcsb.org). Maintained by the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics PDB, PDB-101 aims to help train the next generation of PDB users and to promote the overall importance of structural biology and protein science to non-experts. Regularly published features include the highly popular Molecule of the Month series, 3D model activities, molecular animation videos, and educational curricula. Materials are organized into various categories (Health and Disease, Molecules of Life, Biotech and Nanotech, and Structures and Structure Determination) and searchable by keyword. A biennial health focus frames new resource creation and provides topics for annual video challenges for high school students. Web analytics document that PDB-101 materials relating to fundamental topics (e.g., hemoglobin, catalase) are highly accessed year-on-year. In addition, PDB-101 materials created in response to topical health matters (e.g., Zika, measles, coronavirus) are well-received. PDB-101 shows how learning about the diverse shapes and functions of PDB structures promotes understanding of all aspects of biology, from central dogma of biology to health and disease to biological energy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:34601771 | DOI:10.1002/pro.4200