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Protein Data Bank

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The Protein Data Bank.
DescriptionProtein structure
X-ray crystallography
NMR Structure Determination
Data formatPDB,,,

The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is a collection of information about the three dimensional (3-D) structure of large biological molecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids. Biologists and biochemists from around the world send in the data. Most data comes from X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. Anyone can access the PDB for free online. The Worldwide Protein Data Bank, wwPDB, manages the PDB.

The PDB is useful for scientists studying structural biology and structural genomics. Many scientists have to send their information to the database. Major scientific journals and some funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health in the United States have rules telling scientists to send the data to the PDB. The PDB has the original or primary data. Hundreds of other databases reuse the data. These secondary databases organize the information in different ways. For example, both SCOP and CATH put structures into groups organized by type of structure and ideas about how they are related through evolution. Gene ontology puts the data into groups based on genes.[1]


  1. Berman, H. M. (January 2008). "The Protein Data Bank: a historical perspective". Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography A64 (1): 88–95. doi:10.1107/S0108767307035623 . PMID 18156675 . 

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