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Joseph
Cotruvo
Louis Martarano Career Development Professor of Chemistry
Cotruvo
cotruvo

Professional Appointments and Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Louis Martarano Career Development Professor

Office 

220 Chemistry Building
University Park, PA 16802
Email: juc96@psu.edu 
(814) 863-4869

Mailing Address

104 Chemistry Building

Education

Ph.D., Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012

A.B., Chemistry, Princeton University, 2006

Honors and Awards

Charles E. Kaufman Foundation New Investigator Award (2018-2020)

Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship (2013-2016)

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (2008-2011)

Research

The Cotruvo lab uses biochemistry and chemical biology to understand metal selectivity in biological systems. We study how bacteria selectively acquire and utilize lanthanides and apply what we learn to design biotechnologies for rare earth detection, capture, and separations. We also study roles of transition metals in infectious and neurodegenerative disease.

Selected Publications

Cotruvo, J.A., Jr. The chemistry of lanthanides in biology: Recent discoveries, emerging principles, and technological applications. ACS Cent. Sci. 2019, doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.9b00642.

Ho, J.V. and Cotruvo, J.A., Jr. A periplasmic binding protein for pyrroloquinoline quinone. Biochemistry 2019, 58, 2665-2669.

Featherston, E.R., Rose, H.R., McBride, M.J., E.M. Taylor, Boal, A.K., and Cotruvo, J.A., Jr. Biochemical and structural characterization of XoxG and XoxJ and their roles in lanthanide-dependent methanol dehydrogenase activity. ChemBioChem 2019, doi: 10.1002/cbic.201900184.

Mattocks, J.A., Ho, J.V., and Cotruvo, J.A., Jr. A selective, protein-based fluorescent sensor with picomolar affinity for rare earth elements. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 2857-2861.

Cook, E.C., Featherston, E.R., Showalter, S.A., and Cotruvo, J.A., Jr. Structural basis for rare earth element recognition by Methylobacterium extorquens lanmodulin. Biochemistry 2019, 58, 120-125.

Cotruvo, J.A., Jr., Featherston, E.R., Mattocks, J.A., Ho, J.V., and Laremore, T.N. Lanmodulin: A highly selective lanthanide-binding protein from a lanthanide-utilizing bacterium. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 15056-15061.

Prior to Penn State:

Krishnamoorthy, L.,* Cotruvo, J.A., Jr.,* Chan, J., Kaluarachchi, H., Muchenditsi, A., Pendyala, V.S., Jia, S., Aron, A.T., Ackerman, C.M., Vander Wal, M.N., Guan, T., Smaga, L.P., Farhi, S.S., New, E.J., Lutsenko, S., and Chang, C.J. Copper regulates cyclic-AMP-dependent lipolysis. Nat. Chem. Biol., 2016, 12, 586-592. (*Co-first authors)

Cotruvo, J.A., Jr., Stich, T.A., Britt, R.D., and Stubbe, J. Mechanism of assembly of the dimanganese-tyrosyl radical cofactor of class Ib ribonucleotide reductase: Enzymatic generation of superoxide is required for tyrosine oxidation via a MnIIIMnIV intermediate. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 4027-4039.

Boal, A.K., Cotruvo, J.A., Jr., Stubbe, J., and Rosenzweig, A.C. Structural basis for activation of class Ib ribonucleotide reductase. Science 2010, 329, 1526-1530.

Cotruvo, J.A., Jr. and Stubbe, J. An active dimanganese(III)-tyrosyl radical cofactor in Escherichia coli class Ib ribonucleotide reductase. Biochemistry 2010, 49, 1297-1309.