NYMC > Faculty > Directory > By Name > Pinto, John

John T. Pinto, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dr. Pinto’s laboratory focuses on mechanisms by which diet-derived factors prevent primary and secondary prostrate and colon cancer development. Our studies show that sulfur- and selenium-containing amino acids can be converted to direct-acting metabolites whose intracellular levels depend on tissue expression of specific transaminase enzymes.

Email: john_pinto@nymc.edu


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Basic Science Building
New York Medical College
Valhalla, NY 10595-1690

Professional Interests:

Research interests include identifying chemopreventive strategies for diminishing primary and secondary cancer risks. Investigations examine effects of organosulfur, organoselenium and polyphenolic compounds on redox responsive metabolic pathways within human prostate, breast, and colon cancer cells. Epigenetic mechanisms have been identified by which these diet-derived constituents exert control over cell growth and proliferation through sulfhydryl-disulfide regulation of signal proteins that affect transcription factors of gene expression and inhibit histone deacetylation. Histone deacetylase inhibitors are highly sought after agents that control diseases where inappropriate gene activation is a causal feature, namely viral replications and in cancer prevention and control.

Education Profile:

Post Graduate Studies: Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University
Graduate Degree: Ph.D., Biochemistry
Graduate Degree Institution: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Undergraduate Degree: B.S., Chemistry
Undergraduate Degree Institution: St. John Fisher College

Selected Bibliography:

Book Chapters: 
Pinto JT and Rivlin RS. Riboflavin. IN: Handbook of the Vitamins. Nutritional, Biochemical, and Clinical Aspects. Gregory J, Stover P, Suttie JW and Zempleni J., eds. (New York, Taylor and Francis, Inc., Fifth Edition), 2013.

Aquilato A, Lopez V, Doonan B, Hsieh T-C, Pinto JT, Wu E and Wu JM. BRAF Mutation in Melanoma and Dietary Polyphenols as Adjunctive Treatment Strategy. Chapter 102. IN: Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease: Vol 2; Watson RR, Preedy VR, and Zibadi S. eds. (Elsevier: San Diego, CA,) 2013.

Cooper AJL, Dorai T, Dorai B, Krasnikov BF, Li JY, Hallen A, and Pinto JT. Role of glutamine transaminases in nitrogen, sulfur, selenium and 1-carbon metabolism: Glutamine Transaminases in normal and cancer Cells. IN: Glutamine in Health and Disease. Rajendram R, Preedy VR, and Patel VB. (Eds.) (Springer, New York) 2014.

Journal Articles:
Pinto JT, Sinha R, Papp K, Facompre ND, Desai D, and El-Bayoumy K. Differential effects of naturally occurring and synthetic organoselenium compounds on biomarkers in androgen responsive and androgen independent human prostate carcinoma cells. Int J Cancer 120(7): 1410-1417, 2007.

Sinha R, Pinto JT, Facompre N, Kilheffer J, Baatz JE, and El-Bayoumy K. Effects of naturally occurring and synthetic organoselenium compounds on protein profiling in androgen responsive and androgen independent human prostate cancer cells. Nutr Cancer 60(2): 267-275, 2008.

Nian H, Delage B, Pinto JT, and Dashwood RH. Allyl mercaptan, a garlic-derived organosulfur compound, inhibits histone deacetylase and enhances Sp3 binding on the P21WAF1 promoter. Carcinogenesis 29(9): 1816-1824, 2008.

Karuppagounder SS, Pinto JT, Xu H, Chen LH, Beal MF, and Gibson GE. Dietary supplementation with resveratrol reduces plaque pathology in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's Disease. Neurochem Int 54(2): 111-118, 2009.

Labinskyy N, Mukhopadhyay P, Toth J, Szalai G, Veres M, Losonczy G, Pinto JT, Pacher P, Ballabh P, Podlutsky A, Austad SN, Csiszar A, Ungvari ZI. Longevity is associated with increased vascular resistance to high glucose-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory gene expression in Peromyscus leucopus. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 296: H946-956, 2009.

Krasnikov BF, Nostramo R, Pinto JT, Cooper AJL. Assay and purification of ω-amidase/Nit2, a ubiquitously expressed putative tumor suppressor that catalyzes the deamidation of the α-keto acid analogues of glutamine and asparagine. Anal Biochem 391(2): 144-150, 2009.

Csiszar A, Labinskyy N, Pinto JT, Ballabh P, Zhang H., Losonczy G, Pearson K, de Cabo R, Zhang C, and Ungvari Z. Resveratrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis in endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 297(1): H13-20, 2009.

Lee J-I, Nian H, Cooper AJL, Sinha R, Bisson WH, Dashwood RH, andPinto JT. α-Keto acid metabolites of naturally-occurring organoselenium compounds as inhibitors of histone deacetylase in human prostate cancer cells. Cancer Prev Res 2(7): 683-693, 2009.

Nian H., Bisson WH, Dashwood WM, Pinto JT and Dashwood RH. α-Keto acid metabolites of organoselenium compounds inhibit histone deacetylase activity in human colon cancer cells. Carcinogenesis 30(8): 1416-1423, 2009. 

Csiszar A, Labinskyy N, Jimenez R., Pinto JT, Ballabh P, Losonczy G, Pearson K J, de Cabo R, Ungvari Z. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory vasoprotective effects of caloric restriction in aging: Role of circulating factors and SIRT1. Mech Ageing Dev 130(8): 518-527, 2009.

Ungvari Z, Labinskyy N., Mukhopadhyay P, Pinto JT, Bagi Z, Ballabh P, Zhang C, Pacher P, and Csiszar A. Resveratrol attenuates mitochondrial oxidative stress in coronary arterial endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 297(5): H1876-1881, 2009.

Pinto JT, Lee J-I, Sinha R, MacEwan M., Cooper AJL. Chemopreventive mechanisms of α- keto acid metabolites of naturally occurring organoselenium compounds. Amino Acids 41(1): 29-41, 2011.

Ungvari Z, Bailey-Downs L, Gautam T, Sosnowska D, Wang M, Monticone RE, Telljohann R, Pinto JT, de Cabo R, William E. Sonntag WE, Lakatta E, Csiszar A. Age-associated vascular oxidative stress, Nrf2 dysfunction and NF-B activation in the non-human primate Macaca mulatta. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 66(8): 866-875, 2011.

Cooper AJL, Pinto JT, Callery PS. Reversible and irreversible protein glutathionylation: biological and clinical aspects. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 7(7): 891-910, 2011. Review. Erratum in: Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 7(9): 1183, 2011.

Sinha I, Null K, Wolter W, Suckow MA, King T, Pinto JT and Sinha R. Methylseleninic acid down regulates hypoxia inducible growth factor-1 in invasive prostate cancer. Int J Cancer. 130(6): 1430-1439, 2012.

Facompre ND, El-Bayoumy K, Sun Y-W, Pinto JT and Sinha R. Remarkable inhibition of mTOR signaling by the combination of rapamycin and 1,4-phenylenebis(methylene) selenocyanate in human prostate cancer cells. Int J Cancer. 131(9):2134-42, 2012.

Csiszar A, Podlutsky AJ, Podlutskaya N, Sonntag WE, Merlin SZ, Philipp EER, Doyle K, Davila A, Recchia FA, Ballabh P, Pinto JT, Ungvari Z. Testing the oxidative stress hypothesis of aging in primate fibroblasts: Is there a correlation between species longevity and cellular ROS production? Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 67(8): 841-852, 2012.

Pinto JT, Cooper AJL. From cholesterogenesis to steroidogenesis: Role of riboflavin and flavoenzymes in the biosynthesis of vitamin D. Adv Nutr 5: 144-163, 2014.

Csiszar A, Csiszar A, Pinto JT, Gautam T, Kleusch C, Hoffmann B, Tucsek Z, Toth P, Sonntag WE, Ungvari Z. Resveratrol encapsulated in novel fusogenic liposomes activates Nrf2 and attenuates oxidative stress in cerebromicrovascular endothelial cells from aged rats. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2014 Mar 18.

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