John Thomas Pinto, Ph.D.

John Thomas Pinto Headshot
Nutrition Adjunct

Health Sciences Department
M.S. in Human Nutrition
School of Health Sciences

Post-doctoral studies (Nutrition), Columbia University, 1975-78.
Ph.D., (Biochemistry), University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, 1974.
B.S. (Chemistry), St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY, 1968.

About John

John Thomas Pinto is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. His training in Nutritional Biochemistry began in 1974 at the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University. In 1980, he joined the staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as Assistant Laboratory Member and was appointed Assistant Professor of Nutrition in Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. During that time (1980-83), he was awarded the Future Leader's Award from the Nutrition Foundation. From 1989 until 1996, he co-directed the Metabolism and Oncology Core Laboratory within the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit (CNRU) at MSKCC and until 2002, also directed the Nutrition Research Laboratory. In 2002 to 2004, he re-established the CNRU at the Institute for Cancer Prevention (Formerly, the American Health Foundation) until its closure and then joined the staff at the Cornell-Burke Medical Research Institute in White Plains, New York. In 2007, he joined the faculty at New York Medical College in his current rank as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His adjunct teaching appointments include the Human Nutrition Program at the University of New Haven and the Nutrition and Behavioral Studies Program at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. He is a member of The American Institute of Nutrition, The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Pinto serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nutrition and Cancer, the Journal of Nutrition, and Analytical Biochemistry.

His research focuses on identifying chemopreventive strategies for diminishing primary and secondary cancer risks. His particular investigations examine the effects of organosulfur, selenium and polyphenolic compounds on redox responsive metabolic pathways within human prostate, breast, and colon cancer cells. Dr. Pinto has identified epigenetic mechanisms by which these diet-derived constituents exert control over cell growth and proliferation through sulfhydryl-disulfide regulation of signal proteins, affecting transcription factors of gene expression, and inhibition of 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.

Research Interests

Anticancer effects of organoselenium, organsulfur, and polyphenolic compounds; Chemoprotective mechanisms of phytonutrients and plant extracts on human health and disease; and Interactions of drugs, xenobiotics and nutrients.

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Teaching Assignments

Toxins and Phytonutrients in the food supply (University of New Haven); Vitamin metabolism (University of New Haven), Mineral metabolism (University of New Haven); HBSS-Advanced Nutrition II (Teachers College); Graduate and Medical Biochemistry (NYMC); Protein structure and function (NYMC); Nutritional Biochemistry (NYMC).

Chapters in Books (Life Time Book Chapters Published 14)

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) 2013.  

Journal Articles Published in 2010-2014 (Life Time Peer-Reviewed Publications: 117 Manuscripts)

Cooper AJL, Krasnikov BF, Pinto JT, Bruschi SA.  Measurement of cysteine S-conjugate β-lyase activity.   Current Protocols Toxicol., 44: Chapter 4: Unit 4.36.1-16, 2010. 

Cooper AJL, Krasnikov BF, Niatsetskaya ZV, Pinto JT, Callery PS, Villa MT, Artigues A, Bruschi SA.  Cysteine S-conjugate β-lyases: Important roles in the metabolism of naturally occurring sulfur-and selenium-containing compounds, xenobiotics and anticancer agents.  Amino Acids 41(1): 7-27, 2011.

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. 

Chua CO,  Vinukonda G,  Hu F,  Labinskyy N,  Zia MT,  Pinto J, Csiszar A,  Ungvari Z , Ballabh P. Effect of Hyperoxic Resuscitation on Propensity of Germinal Matrix Hemorrhage and Cerebral Injury.  Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 36(5): 448-458, 2010.

Facompre N., El-Bayoumy K, Sun Y-W, Pinto J, Sinha R.  1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)-selenocyanate (p-XSC) but not selenomethionine inhibits multiple signaling pathways in human prostate cancer cells.  Cancer Prev Res 3(8): 975-984, 2010.

Ungvari Z, Gautam T, Koncz P, Henthorn JC, Pinto JT, Ballabh P, Yan H, Mitschelen M, Farley J, Sonntag WE, Csiszar A.  Vasoprotective effects of lifespan-extending peripubertal GH replacement in Lewis dwarf rats. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 65(11): 1145-1156, 2010. 

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-kB 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.

Smirnova NA, Haskew-Layton RE, Basso M, Hushpulian DM, Payappillya JB,  Speer RE, Ahn Y-H, Rakhman I, Cole PA, Pinto JT, Ratan RR, Gazaryan IG. Development of Neh2-luciferase reporter and its application for high throughput screening and real-time monitoring of Nrf2 activators. Chem Biol 18(6): 752-765, 2011.

Bailey-Downs LC, Mitschelen M, Sosnowska D, Toth P, Pinto JT, Ballabh P, Valcarce N, Farley J, Koller A, Henthorn JC, Bass C, Sonntag WE, Ungvari Z, Csiszar A.  Liver-specific knockdown of IGF-1 decreases vascular oxidative stress resistance by impairing the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response: A novel model of vascular aging.  J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 67(4): 313-329, 2012.

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

Bridges CC, Krasnikov BF, Joshee L, Pinto JT, Hallen A, Li J, Zalups RK, Cooper AJL. New insights into the metabolism of organomercury compounds: Mercury-containing cysteine S-conjugates are substrates of human glutamine transaminase K and potent inactivators of cystathionine g-lyase. Arch Biochem Biophys 517(1): 20-29, 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. 

Cooper AJL, Krasnikov BF, Pinto JT, Kung HF,  Li J-Y  Ploessl K. Comparative enzymology of (2S,4R)4-fluoroglutamine and (2S,4R)4-fluoroglutamate. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 163: 108-120, 2012.

Khomenko T, Kolodney  J, Pinto JT,  McLaren GD, Deng X,  Chen L, Tolstanova G, Paunovic B, Krasnikov BF, Hoa N, Cooper AJL, Szabo S.  New mechanistic explanation for the localization of ulcers in the rat duodenum: Role of iron and selective uptake of cysteamine. Arch Biochem Biophys 525: 60-70, 2012.

Tsikas D, Evans CE, Denton TT, Mitschke A, Gutzki FM, Pinto JT, Khomenko T, Szado S, Cooper AJL.  Stable-isotope GC-MS/MS determination of aminoethylcysteine ketimine decarboxylated dimer in biological samples. Anal Biochem. 430(1):4-15, 2012.   

Pinto JT, Cooper AJL.  From cholesterogenesis to steroidogenesis: Role of riboflavin and flavoenzymes in the biosynthesis of vitamin D.  Adv. Nutr. 5: 1–20, 2014.

Sinha I, Allen J, Pinto JT, and Sinha R. Methylseleninic acid elevates REDD1 and inhibits prostate cancer cell growth despite AKT activation and mTOR dysregulation in hypoxia. Int J Cancer: 2014

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