Learn to use the RCSB Protein Data Bank, or PDB, a tremendous resource that provides a variety of tools and resources for accessing data in the PDB archive. The PDB archive contains information about experimentally-determined structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies. As a member of the wwPDB, the RCSB PDB not only provides tools for access PDB archive data but they also curate and annotate PDB data. Researchers can access images of structures, as well as detailed experimental data. Links to other important details such as family and domain information, ligand details, pathway data, and more, can also be found. Many tools to examine and manipulate the three-dimensional structures are available. The RCSB PDB also provides extensive educational resources, including a molecule of the month feature and other materials that can be used to understand the basics of structural biology.

You will learn:

  • how to search for structures and related information using a variety of strategies
  • to understand the results and structure summary pages and link to additional information
  • how to visualize and manipulate the structures
  • to customize your results by using the many formatting options


This tutorial is a part of the tutorial group Protein-centric and protein structure resources. You might find the other tutorials in the group interesting:

Pfam: Protein Domain families

UniProt: UniProt, Universal Protein Resource

MMDB: Molecular Modeling Database at NCBI

Entrez Protein: NCBI's Entrez Protein for amino acid-centric information

Structural Biology Knowledgebase: The Protein Structure Initiative Structural Biology Knowledgebase


Proteins : Tools that are primarily used in the storage, retrieval, or exploration of amino acid based data. Some tools may also involve nucleotide sequence information.


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Recent BioMed Central research articles citing this resource

Dresch Philipp et al., Fungal strain matters: colony growth and bioactivity of the European medicinal polypores Fomes fomentarius, Fomitopsis pinicola and Piptoporus betulinus. AMB Express (2015) doi:10.1186/s13568-014-0093-0

Wang Caihua et al., Predicting target-ligand interactions using protein ligand-binding site and ligand substructures Selected articles from the Thirteenth Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC 2015): Systems Biology The Thirteenth Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC 2015). BMC Systems Biology (2015) doi:10.1186/1752-0509-9-S1-S2

Son Minky et al., Structural importance of the C-terminal region in pig aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C1 and their effects on enzymatic activity. BMC Structural Biology (2015) doi:10.1186/s12900-014-0028-7

Lauber Jennifer et al., Expression of the functional recombinant human glycosyltransferase GalNAcT2 in Escherichia coli. Microbial Cell Factories (2015) doi:10.1186/s12934-014-0186-0

Vasylenko Tamara et al., SCMPSP: Prediction and characterization of photosynthetic proteins based on a scoring card method Selected articles from the Thirteenth Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC 2015): Bioinformatics The Thirteenth Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC 2015). BMC Bioinformatics (2015) doi:10.1186/1471-2105-16-S1-S8