Seeing the pdb

Jane S. Richardson, David C. Richardson, David S. Goodsell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Ever since the first structures of proteins were determined in the 1960s, structural biologists have required methods to visualize biomolecular structures, both as an essential tool for their research and also to promote 3D comprehension of structural results by a wide audience of researchers, students, and the general public. In this review to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Protein Data Bank, we present our own experiences in developing and applying methods of visualization and analysis to the ever-expanding archive of protein and nucleic acid structures in the worldwide Protein Data Bank. Across that timespan, Jane and David Richardson have concentrated on the organization inside and between the macromolecules, with ribbons to show the overall backbone "fold"and contact dots to show how the all-atom details fit together locally. David Goodsell has explored surface-based representations to present and explore biological subjects that range from molecules to cells. This review concludes with some ideas about the current challenges being addressed by the field of biomolecular visualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100742
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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