Joseph Cotruvo

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Joseph Cotruvo

Research Summary

Biochemistry and chemical biology to uncover and understand new metal and redox biology. We are particularly interested in applications to infectious disease, bioenergy, and cancer biology.

Huck Affiliations


Publication Tags

Proteins Metals Rare Earth Elements Lanthanoid Atom Lanthanoid Series Elements Protein Bacteria Metal Carrier Proteins Iron Enzymes Ribonucleotide Reductases Manganese Copper Acids Ef Hand Motifs Sensors Tyrosine Superoxides Luminescence Oxidoreductases Proline Ions Fluorescent Probe Biochemistry

Most Recent Publications

The czcD (NiCo) riboswitch responds to iron(II)

Jiansong Xu, Joseph Cotruvo, Biochemistry on p. 1508-1516

Jiansong Xu, Joseph A. Cotruvo, 2022, ACS Bio and Med Chem Au on p. 376-385

Iron-responsive riboswitches

Jiansong Xu, Joseph A. Cotruvo, 2022, Current Opinion in Chemical Biology

Joseph A. Mattocks, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Gauthier J.P. Deblonde, 2022, Chemical Science on p. 6054-6066

Ziye Dong, Joseph A. Mattocks, Gauthier J.P. Deblonde, Dehong Hu, Yongqin Jiao, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Dan M. Park, 2021, ACS Central Science on p. 1798-1808

Stephanie Liu, Emily R. Featherston, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Carlos R. Baiz, 2021, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics on p. 21690-21700

Gauthier J.P. Deblonde, Joseph A. Mattocks, Ziye Dong, Paul T. Wooddy, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Mavrik Zavarin, 2021, Science advances

Gauthier J.P. Deblonde, Joseph A. Mattocks, Huan Wang, Eric M. Gale, Annie B. Kersting, Mavrik Zavarin, Joseph A. Cotruvo, 2021, Journal of the American Chemical Society on p. 15769-15783

Emily R. Featherston, Edward J. Issertell, Joseph A. Cotruvo, 2021, Journal of the American Chemical Society on p. 14287-14299


Joseph Cotruvo, 2021, on p. xiii-xvi

Most-Cited Papers

Joseph A. Cotruvo, Allegra T. Aron, Karla M. Ramos-Torres, Christopher J. Chang, 2015, Chemical Society Reviews on p. 4400-4414

Allegra T. Aron, Karla M. Ramos-Torres, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Christopher J. Chang, 2015, Accounts of Chemical Research on p. 2434-2442

Joseph A. Cotruvo, Joanne Stubbe, 2012, Metallomics on p. 1020-1036

Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Jefferson Chan, Harini Kaluarachchi, Abigael Muchenditsi, Venkata S. Pendyala, Shang Jia, Allegra T. Aron, Cheri M. Ackerman, Mark N.Vander Wal, Timothy Guan, Lukas P. Smaga, Samouil L. Farhi, Elizabeth J. New, Svetlana Lutsenko, Christopher J. Chang, 2016, Nature Chemical Biology on p. 586-592

Lanmodulin: A highly selective lanthanide-binding protein from a lanthanide-utilizing bacterium

Joseph Alfred Cotruvo, Jr., Emily R. Featherston, Joseph A. Mattocks, Jackson V. Ho, Tatiana Nikolaevna Laremore, 2018, Journal of the American Chemical Society on p. 15056-15061

Joseph A. Cotruvo, Troy A. Stich, R. David Britt, Joanne Stubbe, 2013, Journal of the American Chemical Society on p. 4027-4039

A selective, protein-based fluorescent sensor with picomolar affinity for rare earth elements

Joseph A. Mattocks, Jackson V. Ho, Joseph A. Cotruvo, 2019, Journal of the American Chemical Society

Structural basis for rare earth element recognition by methylobacterium extorquens lanmodulin

Erik C. Cook, Emily R. Featherston, Scott A. Showalter, Joseph A. Cotruvo, 2019, Biochemistry on p. 120-125

Selective and Efficient Biomacromolecular Extraction of Rare-Earth Elements using Lanmodulin

Gauthier J.P. Deblonde, Joseph A. Mattocks, Dan M. Park, David W. Reed, Joseph A. Cotruvo, Yongqin Jiao, 2020, Inorganic Chemistry on p. 11855-11867

News Articles Featuring Joseph Cotruvo

Radioactive metals for medicine get a boost from recently discovered protein

A protein can be used to recover and purify radioactive metals such as actinium that could be beneficial for next-generation drugs used in cancer therapies and medical imaging, according to new research from Penn State and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

New, environmentally friendly method to extract and separate rare earth elements

A new method improves the extraction and separation of rare earth elements — a group of 17 chemical elements critical for technologies such as smart phones and electric car batteries — from unconventional sources.

New sensor can detect valuable rare earth element in non-traditional sources

A new luminescent sensor can detect terbium, a valuable rare earth element, from complex environmental samples like acid mine waste. The sensor, developed by researchers at Penn State, takes advantage of a protein that very specifically binds to rare earth elements and could be harnessed to help develop a domestic supply of these metals, which are used in technologies such as smart phones, electric car batteries, and energy efficient lighting.

Three from Eberly College of Science awarded 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships

Three faculty members from the Eberly College of Science have been honored with 2021 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships in recognition of their research accomplishments. The new Sloan fellows include Maria del Carmen Carmona Benitez, assistant professor of physics; Joseph Cotruvo Jr., Louis Martarano Career Development Professor of Chemistry; and Elizabeth Elacqua, assistant professor of chemistry.

New sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones

A more efficient and cost-effective way to detect lanthanides, the rare earth metals used in smartphones and other technologies, could be possible with a new protein-based sensor that changes its fluorescence when it binds to these metals. A team of researchers from Penn State developed the sensor from a protein they recently described and subsequently used it to explore the biology of bacteria that use lanthanides. A study describing the sensor appears online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.