Published quarterly by the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank

Message from RCSB PDB

The first COVID-19  (SARS-CoV-2)-related PDB structure was rapidly released to the public on February 5, 2020.  This high-resolution crystal structure (6lu7) of a coronavirus 3CL hydrolase (Mpro) as determined by Zihe Rao and Haitao Yang's research team at ShanghaiTech University pushed the PDB team and structural biologists worldwide into action. This global public health emergency highlights the importance of open and timely availability of scientific data.  In the weeks following, dozens of additional structures have been submitted to the archive by researchers, prioritized for review and annotation by wwPDB biocurators, and accessed by the global community. 

In the month of February, 6lu7 alone was downloaded nearly 38,000 times. Each PDB structure made available provides another piece of the puzzle that will lead us to establishing a greater understanding of this particular virus and developing treatments and vaccines to prevent further spread.

As of April 1, the PDB archive houses 107 SARS-CoV-2 structures, including 84 main protease structures, 5 spike proteins, and examples of many other important proteins.

These data are accompanied by new educational resources, including a Molecule of the Month feature on Coronavirus Proteases and a video that illustrates Fighting Coronavirus with Soap at the molecular level. 

While RCSB PDB members work remotely, operations will continue to provide service and support for our community of data depositors and consumers.

NJTV News spoke with RCSB PDB researchers Stephen Burley and Brian Hudson about the release of the first COVID-19-related PDB structure.

Coronavirus Resources on

Resources are updated regularly. They currently include:

  • wwPDB overview, including summary data for closely-related PDB structures (96% sequence identity; and other closely related SARS proteins, including a second viral protease, the RNA polymerase, the viral spike protein, a viral RNA, and other proteins.
  • Molecule of the Month feature on Coronavirus Proteases
  • Links to all COVID19-related PDB structures
  • Painting: Coronavirus, 2020 by David S. Goodsell
  • Coloring Book: Coronavirus
  • Video: Fighting Coronavirus with Soap
  • How to help the free market fight coronavirus (2020) Nature
Snapshot: April 1, 2020
162,269 Released atomic coordinate entries
Molecule Type
150,423 Proteins, peptides, and viruses
3,462 Nucleic acids
8,354 Protein/nucleic acid complexes
30 Other
Experimental Technique
144,216 X-ray
12,939 NMR
4,646 Electron Microscopy
159 Multi Method
309 Other
Related Experimental Data Files
134,146 Structure factors
10,289 NMR restraints
4,814 Chemical shifts
4,718 3DEM map files