Headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, the RCSB Protein Data Bank released its first SARS-CoV-2 structure — the coronavirus main protease (PDB 6lu7) — on Feb. 5, 2020.
The database has helped drive the development of effective COVID-19 vaccines. It continues to shed light on emerging variants of the virus, according to Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank. “The impact of structural biologists on research related to COVID-19 is a testament to the power of the experimental tools they use and their commitment to making data open access for the public good,” Burley said in a statement.
The database also offers proteins related to other viral outbreaks, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It could also help scientists “prepare better for when the next coronavirus jumps the species barrier to humans,” Burley said.
In all, the Protein Data Bank contains more than 175,000 3D structures for proteins, DNA and RNA.