Deborah Perlstein, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS, Tulane University

Deborah Perlstein joined the Department of Chemistry in July 2010. While new to Boston University, she has called Boston her home since arriving in the fall of 1998 to pursue her Ph.D. at MIT. More recently, she was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Suzanne Walker in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School.

The research the Perlstein Group lies at the interface of chemistry and biology with a focus on bioinorganic chemistry. We are currently developing new projects that will use the tools of chemical biology, including biophysical techniques, enzymology, microscopy, and molecular biology to understand iron-sulfur cluster containing proteins and bacterial cell division.

Iron-sulfur proteins: Iron-sulfur clusters are ancient and essential cofactors that allow proteins to access a wide range of chemistries that would not otherwise be possible with the standard 20 amino acids. Elucidating the novel chemical mechanisms of enzymes that utilize iron-sulfur clusters and understanding the biochemical pathway required for iron sulfur cluster assembly in vivo will be a major focus of the lab’s research efforts.

Bacterial Cell Division: The bacterial cytoskeletal proteins MreB and FtsZ are the major orchestrators of cell growth and division and therefore represent potential antibiotic targets that can be exploited to combat drug resistant pathogens. These bacterial homologs of actin and tubulin coordinate the activities of numerous enzymes in the cell membrane and the perplasmic space that maintain the integrity of the bacterial cell envelope during growth and division. We are developing projects to probe how cytoskeletal protein dynamics are regulated both in vitro and in vivo to discover new approaches to combating drug resistant microorganisms.

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

The mechanism of apo-target recognition in cytosolic iron sulfur cluster biosynthesis
09/05/2018 - 06/30/2024 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

CAREER: Elucidating the role of ATP in Cytosolic Iron Sulfur Cluster Biogenesis
05/01/2016 - 04/30/2022 (PI)
National Science Foundation


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Vasquez S, Marquez MD, Brignole EJ, Vo A, Kong S, Park C, Perlstein DL, Drennan CL. Structural and biochemical investigations of a HEAT-repeat protein involved in the cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly pathway. Commun Biol. 2023 Dec 18; 6(1):1276. PMID: 38110506; PMCID: PMC10728100; DOI: 10.1038/s42003-023-05579-3;
  2. Marquez MD, Greth C, Buzuk A, Liu Y, Blinn CM, Beller S, Leiskau L, Hushka A, Wu K, Nur K, Netz DJA, Perlstein DL, Pierik AJ. Cytosolic iron-sulfur protein assembly system identifies clients by a C-terminal tripeptide. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Oct 31; 120(44):e2311057120. PMID: 37883440; PMCID: PMC10623007; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2311057120;
  3. Marquez MD, Greth C, Buzuk A, Liu Y, Blinn CM, Beller S, Leiskau L, Hushka A, Wu K, Nur K, Netz DJ, Perlstein DL, Pierik AJ. Cytosolic iron-sulfur protein assembly system identifies clients by a C-terminal tripeptide. bioRxiv. 2023 May 20. PMID: 37292740; PMCID: PMC10245660; DOI: 10.1101/2023.05.19.541488;
  4. Molé CN, Dave K, Perlstein DL. Methods to Unravel the Roles of ATPases in Fe-S Cluster Biosynthesis. Methods Mol Biol. 2021; 2353:155-171. PMID: 34292549
  5. Grossman JD, Gay KA, Camire EJ, Walden WE, Perlstein DL. Coupling Nucleotide Binding and Hydrolysis to Iron-Sulfur Cluster Acquisition and Transfer Revealed through Genetic Dissection of the Nbp35 ATPase Site. Biochemistry. 2019 04 16; 58(15):2017-2027. PMID: 30865432
  6. Grossman JD, Camire EJ, Glynn CA, Neil CM, Seguinot BO, Perlstein DL. The Cfd1 Subunit of the Nbp35-Cfd1 Iron Sulfur Cluster Scaffolding Complex Controls Nucleotide Binding. Biochemistry. 2019 03 26; 58(12):1587-1595. PMID: 30785732
  7. Vo A, Fleischman NM, Froehlich MJ, Lee CY, Cosman JA, Glynn CA, Hassan ZO, Perlstein DL. Identifying the Protein Interactions of the Cytosolic Iron-Sulfur Cluster Targeting Complex Essential for Its Assembly and Recognition of Apo-Targets. Biochemistry. 2018 04 24; 57(16):2349-2358. PMID: 28539047
  8. Grossman JD, Camire EJ, Perlstein DL. Approaches to Interrogate the Role of Nucleotide Hydrolysis by Metal Trafficking NTPases: The Nbp35-Cfd1 Iron-Sulfur Cluster Scaffold as a Case Study. Methods Enzymol. 2018; 599:293-325. PMID: 29746244
  9. Vo AT, Fleischman NM, Marquez MD, Camire EJ, Esonwune SU, Grossman JD, Gay KA, Cosman JA, Perlstein DL. Defining the domains of Cia2 required for its essential function in vivo and in vitro. Metallomics. 2017 Nov 15; 9(11):1645-1654. PMID: 29057997
  10. Camire EJ, Grossman JD, Thole GJ, Fleischman NM, Perlstein DL. The Yeast Nbp35-Cfd1 Cytosolic Iron-Sulfur Cluster Scaffold Is an ATPase. J Biol Chem. 2015 Sep 25; 290(39):23793-802. PMID: 26195633; PMCID: PMC4583046; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M115.667022;
Showing 10 of 24 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 24 publications over 16 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 2023


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Boston MA 02215
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