How to get PDB entries via email?

P A Keller bsspak at
Tue Nov 16 05:31:06 EST 1993

In the referenced article, bbaker at (Buck Dharma) writes:
>Can someone tell me how to get 3D coords from the BNL protein data bank
>via email?  I know the address is pdb at, but thats about it.
>	-brian

Funny you should ask this: I have been trying to find out the same for a
colleague, without much success. In principle, if you send the message

send info bbaker at

to fileserv at,

you should get back all the information you need, but in practice this service
does not seem to be well maintained. It may have improved since I last tried
it, but I never succeeded in getting any information on the fileserver's
command set in this way, so it seemed fairly useless to me.

The simple answer is: use anonymous ftp or Gopher to in
preference to e-mail, if you can. If you must use e-mail, the best way is to
use an e-mail ftp server (i.e. you send an e-mail message to the server, which
does the anonymous ftp for you, and e-mails the results back). For information
on one such service, send the message:


with a blank subject line to ftpmail at . In this way, you
can 'dir' the top-level directory at BNL, and find out what files contain
information about the contents of the data bank.

I can only assume that Brookhaven are having severe long-term problems with
their e-mail server - enquiries which I made over a month ago about this have
not been answered yet, and the response from the e-mail server is very slow,
with enquiries often disappearing completely. So far, I have not succeeded
in retrieving a single coordinate file by using Brookhaven's own fileserver.

Good luck,

Peter Keller.                Tel.:   (+44/0)225 826826 x 4302
Dept. of Biochemistry,       Fax.:   (+44/0)225 826449 
University of Bath,          Email:     P.A.Keller at (Internet)
Bath, BA2 7AY, UK.        at UKACRL (Bitnet)
I can no longer phone out ... E-mail is my lifeline ... Please use it!

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