G M Turino

Saint Luke's Hospital (NY, USA), New York, New York, United States

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Publications (159)758.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Delayed diagnosis is common in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Right-sided heart catheterization, the gold standard for diagnosis, is invasive and cannot be applied for routine screening. Some biomarkers have been looked into; however, due to the lack of a clear pathological mechanism linking the marker to PAH, the search for an ideal one is still ongoing. Elastin is a significant structural constituent of blood vessels. Its synthesis involves cross-linking of monomers by 2 amino acids, desmosine and isodesmosine (D&I). Being extremely stable, elastin undergoes little metabolic turnover in healthy individuals resulting in very low levels of D&I amino acids in the human plasma, urine, or sputum. We hypothesized that in PAH patients, the elastin turnover is high; which in turn should result in elevated levels of D&I in plasma and urine. Using mass spectrometry, plasma and urine levels of D&I were measured in 20 consecutive patients with PAH confirmed by cardiac catheterization. The levels were compared with 13 healthy controls. The mean level of total plasma D&I in patients with PAH was 0.47 ng/mL and in controls was 0.19 ng/mL (P = 0.001). The mean levels of total D&I in the urine of PAH patients was 20.55 mg/g creatinine and in controls was 12.78 mg/g creatinine (P = 0.005). The mean level of free D&I in the urine of PAH patients was 10.34 mg/g creatinine and in controls was 2.52 mg/g creatinine (P < 0.001). This is the first study highlighting that the serum and urine D&I has a potential to be a novel screening biomarker for patients with PAH. It paves the way for larger studies to analyze its role in assessing for disease severity and response to treatment.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · American journal of therapeutics
  • Jerome Cantor · Gerard Armand · Gerard Turino
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    ABSTRACT: Hyaluronan (HA), a long-chain polysaccharide, is currently being evaluated as a potential therapeutic agent for pulmonary emphysema, based on previous studies from this laboratory indicating its protective effect against elastic fiber breakdown. To determine whether exogenously administered HA might replace a loss of this extracellular matrix component in this disease, we measured the content of HA in lung biopsies from both healthy individuals and alpha-1 antiprotease-deficient (AAPD) COPD patients with pulmonary emphysema. Tissue samples (9 from COPD patients, 5 from controls) were digested with papain to isolate glycosaminoglycans, and lung HA was quantified with an enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay. HA was significantly decreased in the AAPDCOPD population compared to normal individuals (13.5 vs 21.7 ng/mg wet lung; p < 0.01). Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between HA levels and the following parameters: 1) percent predicted FEV1 (r = 0.78; p < 0.001), 2) percent predicted DLCO (r = 0.74; p < 0.05), and 3) serum levels of AAP (r = 0.61; p < 0.05). These findings support the hypothesis that depletion of lung HA plays a role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema, and that replacement of this matrix component could slow the progression of the disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Respiratory medicine
  • Xingjian Liu · Shuren Ma · Sophie Liu · Ming Liu · Gerard Turino · Jerome Cantor
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    ABSTRACT: The unique elastin crosslinks, desmosine and isodesmosine (DID) are significantly elevated in blood, urine, and sputum from patients with COPD, and may decline following treatment of the disease. However, the large degree of variance in this biomarker among COPD patients with similar levels of disease suggests that it has limited prognostic value with regard to the degree of lung disease in a given individual. As an alternative to measuring the total amount of DID, we propose using the ratio of free to peptide-bound DID, which may provide a better indication of overall lung disease. To test this hypothesis, the free/bound DID ratio was measured in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from both hamsters with elastase-induced emphysema and controls not given the enzyme, using a combination of liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectroscopy. This ratio was then correlated with airspace enlargement, as measured by the mean percentage of lung surface area at ×100 microscopic magnification. There was a significant negative correlation between the free/bound DID ratio in BALF and lung surface area. However, there was no correlation between this ratio and total BALF DID, suggesting that free/bound DID is unrelated to the immediate rate of breakdown of elastic fibers, and may instead measure the cumulative effect of elastase injury in the lung. The free/bound DID ratio may be a useful measure of emphysematous changes in the lung and might also serve as a screening procedure for healthy smokers and other individuals at risk for developing COPD.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Beiträge zur Klinik der Tuberkulose
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    ABSTRACT: Desmosine-CH2, an analog of the elastic tissue degradation biomarker desmosine, can be regarded as a potential internal standard for precise quantification of desmosines by LC-MS/MS. In this study, the chemical synthesis of desmosine-CH2 was completed in 22% overall yield in five steps. The LC-MS/MS analysis of desmosine-CH2 was also achieved.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: To the Editor:Most individuals carry two wild-type M alleles of the SERPINA1 gene which encodes α1-antitrypsin. 95% of severe deficiency of α1-antitrypsin is associated with the Z allele (Glu342Lys; denoted PiZZ in the homozygote), and with the retention and polymerisation of α1-antitrypsin within hepatocytes (1). These polymers are contained within periodic acid-Schiff-positive, diastase-resistant inclusions that are associated with neonatal hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The concomitant lack of circulating α1-antitrypsin predisposes the Z α1-antitrypsin homozygote to early-onset emphysema. Polymers of α1-antitrypsin form within the lung as a result of local inflammation and exposure to cigarette smoke (2). They have also been identified in the skin of an individual with α1-antitrypsin deficiency and panniculitis (3) and in a renal biopsy from an individual with α1-antitrypsin deficiency and vasculitis (4). It is unknown whether these polymers form locally or are deposited in these tissues from a circulating source, and whether extrahepatic polymers are associated with any disease phenotypes. We have assessed whether polymers of α1-antitrypsin are present within serum, from where they originate, and whether they are associated with clinical features in individuals with PiZZ α1-antitrypsin deficiency. In this investigation we used ELISA with the anti-α1-antitrypsin polymer monoclonal antibody (2C1) (5) to assess.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · European Respiratory Journal

  • No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Thorax
  • J.O. Cantor · S Ma · G.M. Turino
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    ABSTRACT: Damage to the lung elastic fiber network is largely responsible for the distention and rupture of alveolar walls in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It has therefore been suggested that blood or urine levels of the unique elastic fiber crosslinks, desmosine and isodesmosine (DID), may serve as a biomarker for the progression of the disease. The prognostic value of DID may be limited, however, by the large degree of variance associated with their measurement in patients with COPD. To overcome this problem, we propose that specific patterns of DID release from damaged elastic fibers, rather than their absolute quantity, may provide a better indication of morphological changes in the lungs of patients with COPD. Using percolation theory to model the elastic fiber network in the lung, it will be shown that the relative amounts of damaged and intact elastic fibers may be reflected at the molecular level by urinary levels of free and peptide-bound DID, respectively. The self-similar nature of percolation networks further suggests that detachment of crosslinks from elastic fibers may be analogous to the rupture of alveolar walls in COPD. Consequently, the ratio of free to bound DID may be a measure of emphysematous changes in this disease.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Medical Hypotheses
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    ABSTRACT: Chemical synthesis of the deuterium isotope, desmosine-d4, has been achieved. This isotopic compound possesses all four deuterium atoms at the alkanyl carbons of the alkyl amino acid substitution in the desmosine molecule and is stable toward acid hydrolysis, this is required in the measurement of two crosslinking molecules, desmosine and isodesmosine, as biomarkers of elastic tissue degradation. The degradation of elastin occurs in several widely prevalent diseases. The synthesized desmosine-d4 is used as the internal standard to develop an accurate and sensitive isotope-dilution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis which can serve as a generalized method for an accurate analysis of desmosine and isodesmosine as biomarkers in many types of biological tissues involving elastin degradation.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Analytical Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Intravenous alpha-1 antitrypsin protein (AAT) augmentation is a prescribed therapy for severe, genetically determined, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), a genetic basis for pulmonary emphysema. AAT, a predominant systemic inhibitor of neutrophil elastase thus far has not been shown to decrease elastin degradation in a significant number of patients on this therapy. The objective of this study was to compare levels of biomarkers of elastin degradation in plasma, bronchoalveolar lavage (BALF) fluid and urine before and after beginning AAT augmentation therapy in patients with AATD. Methods: Desmosine and isodesmosine (DI), which occur only in elastin, are amino acid cross-links in mature elastin. Levels of DI in body fluids measure degradation of elastin and can be measured more specifically by mass spectrometry. This method was used to measure DI levels in plasma, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and urine in cohorts of severe AATD patients on augmentation, not on augmentation and before and after the initiation of augmentation therapy. Results: Statistically significant reductions in plasma DI and in BALF DI were demonstrated in AATD patients receiving intravenous (IV) augmentation therapy as compared with those not receiving it. Administration by aerosol also produced statistically significant reductions in levels of DI in BALF. Conclusions: Results indicate that the currently prescribed doses of AAT augmentation inhibit neutrophil elastase adequately to reduce elastin degradation, both systemically and in the lung per se. The currently prescribed doses did not reduce elastin degradation to control levels, which may be possible with higher doses.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
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    Robert A. Sandhaus · Gerard Turino
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    ABSTRACT: Elastases of both the neutrophil and macrophage have been implicated in lung disease initiation and progression. Although it is unlikely that these proteases evolved for the purpose of injuring lung tissue, the elastin-rich connective tissue framework of the lungs appears to be particularly susceptible to the action of elastolytic proteases. Assuming that neutrophil elastase most likely plays a role in the migration of neutrophils toward a site of inflammation and degradation of proteins from invading organisms or other products of the inflammatory response, it is the role of inhibitors of this protease to protect normal tissues from its effects. In alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency we find an experiment of nature that disrupts this protease-anti-protease balance, resulting in an increased risk of destructive lung disease.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency and tobacco smoking are confirmed risk factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We hypothesized that variable DNA methylation would be associated with smoking and inflammation, as reflected by the level of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in AAT-deficient subjects. Methylation levels of 1,411 autosomal CpG sites from the Illumina GoldenGate Methylation Cancer Panel I were analyzed in 316 subjects. Associations of five smoking behaviors and CRP levels with individual CpG sites and average methylation levels were assessed using non-parametric testing, linear regression and linear mixed effect models, with and without adjustment for age and gender. Univariate linear regression analysis revealed that methylation levels of 16 CpG sites significantly associated with ever-smoking status. A CpG site in the TGFBI gene was the only site associated with ever-smoking after adjustment for age and gender. No highly significant associations existed between age at smoking initiation, pack-years smoked, duration of smoking, and time since quitting smoking as predictors of individual CpG site methylation levels. However, ever-smoking and younger age at smoking initiation associated with lower methylation level averaged across all sites. DNA methylation at CpG sites in the RUNX3, JAK3 and KRT1 genes associated with CRP levels. The most significantly associated CpG sites with gender and age mapped to the CASP6 and FZD9 genes, respectively. In summary, this study identified multiple potential candidate CpG sites associated with ever-smoking and CRP level in AAT-deficient subjects. Phenotypic variability in Mendelian diseases may be due to epigenetic factors.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society
  • Gerard M Turino · Yong Y Lin · Jiangtao He · Jerome O Cantor · Shuren Ma

    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • No preview · Conference Paper · May 2012
  • Gerard M. Turino

    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Chest
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    ABSTRACT: The development of COPD in subjects with alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is likely to be influenced by modifier genes. Genome-wide association studies and integrative genomics approaches in COPD have demonstrated significant associations with SNPs in the chromosome 15q region that includes CHRNA3 (cholinergic nicotine receptor alpha3) and IREB2 (iron regulatory binding protein 2).We investigated whether SNPs in the chromosome 15q region would be modifiers for lung function and COPD in AAT deficiency. The current analysis included 378 PIZZ subjects in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study and a replication cohort of 458 subjects from the UK AAT Deficiency National Registry. Nine SNPs in LOC123688, CHRNA3 and IREB2 were selected for genotyping. FEV1 percent of predicted and FEV1/FVC ratio were analyzed as quantitative phenotypes. Family-based association analysis was performed in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study. In the replication set, general linear models were used for quantitative phenotypes and logistic regression models were used for the presence/absence of emphysema or COPD. Three SNPs (rs2568494 in IREB2, rs8034191 in LOC123688, and rs1051730 in CHRNA3) were associated with pre-bronchodilator FEV1 percent of predicted in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study. Two SNPs (rs2568494 and rs1051730) were associated with the post-bronchodilator FEV1 percent of predicted and pre-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio; SNP-by-gender interactions were observed. In the UK National Registry dataset, rs2568494 was significantly associated with emphysema in the male subgroup; significant SNP-by-smoking interactions were observed. IREB2 and CHRNA3 are potential genetic modifiers of COPD phenotypes in individuals with severe AAT deficiency and may be sex-specific in their impact.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Respiratory research
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major health problem worldwide and is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. There is a lack of therapies that can stop progression of the disease and improve survival. New drug discovery can be aided by the development of biomarkers, which can act as indicators of severity in the course of the disease and responses to therapy. This perspective brings together the laboratory and clinical evidence, which suggest that elastin degradation products can fulfill the need for such a biomarker. Elastin is a recognized target for injury in COPD. The amino acids desmosine and isodesmosine exist only in matrix elastin; can be measured specifically and sensitively in plasma, urine, and sputum; and indicate changes in the systemic balance between elastase activity and elastase inhibition brought on by the systemic inflammatory state. The biomarker levels in sputum reflect the state of elastin degradation in the lung specifically. Clinical data accumulated over several decades indicate correlations of desmosine and isodesmosine levels with COPD of varying severity and responses to therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
  • Shuren Ma · Gerard M Turino · Yong Y Lin
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to develop a standardized LC-MS/MS method for accurate measurement of desmosine (DES) and isodesmosine (IDS) in all body fluids as biomarkers for in vivo degradation of matrix tissue elastin in man and animals. A reproducible three-step analytical procedure: (1) sample hydrolysis in 6N HCl, (2) SPE by a CF1 cartridge with addition of acetylated pyridinoline as internal standard (IS), and (3) LC/MSMS analysis by SRM monitoring of transition ions; DES or IDS (m/z 526-481+397) and IS (m/z 471-128) was developed. The method achieves accurate measurements of DES/IDS in accessible body fluids (i.e. urine, plasma, and sputum). LOQ of DES/IDS in body fluids is 0.1 ng/ml. The % recoveries and reproducibility from urine, plasma, and sputum samples are above 99 ± 8% (n = 3), 94 ± 9% (n = 3) and 87 ± 11% (n = 3), with imprecision 8%, 9% and 10%, respectively. The proposed method was applied to measure DES/IDS in body fluids of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and healthy controls. Total DES/IDS in sputum and plasma is increased over normal controls along with the free DES/IDS in urine in patients. DES/IDS can be used to study the course of COPD and the response to therapy. This practical and reliable LC-MS/MS method is proposed as a standardized method to measure DES and IDS in body fluids. This method can have wide application for investigating diseases which involve elastic tissue degradation.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Tobacco smoke is a major risk factor in the development of COPD. Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is a known risk factor in asthma, bronchitis, and coronary artery disease. Elastin is a recognized target for injury in COPD, and the amino acids desmosine and isodesmosine (D/I), which are specific for elastin degradation, are elevated in COPD. This study determined whether exposure to SHS affects elastin degradation in asymptomatic individuals. Two cohorts of asymptomatic individuals without evidence of respiratory or circulatory disease, exposed to SHS, were studied. Both cohorts comprised normal nonsmokers, active smokers, and those exposed to SHS. D/I were measured in plasma and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry by published methods. Plasma cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, was also measured. In each cohort, the levels of D/I in plasma were statistically significantly higher in secondhand-smoke-exposed subjects than in the normal nonexposed subjects. Smokers had the highest levels of D/I but their levels were not statistically significantly higher than those of the secondhand-smoke-exposed. Cotinine levels were elevated in secondhand-smoke-exposed subjects and active smokers but not in most nonsmoking control subjects. Results indicate a tissue matrix effect of degradation of body elastin from SHS exposure and possible lung structure injury, which may result in COPD. Long-term studies of individuals exposed to SHS for the development of COPD are warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Chest
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    ABSTRACT: Aerosolized hyaluronan (HA) has been previously shown to prevent cigarette smoke-induced airspace enlargement and elastic fiber injury in mice when given concurrently with smoke. In the present study, a more stringent test of the therapeutic potential of HA was performed by delaying treatment with this agent for 1 month. After treatment with cigarette smoke for 3 h per day for 5 days per week for 1 month, mice (DBA/2J) began receiving aerosolized HA (0.1%) for 1 h prior to smoke exposure (controls were given aerosolized water). The results indicate that much of the damage to the lung elastic fibers occurred within the first several months of smoke exposure, as measured by levels of desmosine and isodesmosine (DID) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). In contrast to previously published studies, where concurrent administration of aerosolized HA significantly reduced BALF DID levels within 3 months of smoke exposure, the same effect was not seen until 6 months when HA treatment was delayed. However, despite the prolonged breakdown of elastic fibers in the current study, a significant reduction in airspace enlargement was observed after only 2 months of HA treatment. These findings provide further support for testing this agent in patients with pre-existing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Beiträge zur Klinik der Tuberkulose
  • Jiangtao He · Gerard M Turino · Yong Y Lin
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents a method for detecting and characterizing peptides of elastin that result from lung matrix injury in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Lung elastin degradation was studied by two representative in vivo elastases, human neutrophil elastase (HNE) and macrophage metalloproteinase (MMP12). The resulting peptide mixtures were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MSMS) to characterize 40 elastin-derived peptides (EDPs), 24 from HNE and 16 from MMP12 digestions. The peptides constitute major EDPs that are solubilized by the enzymatic digestion. Using the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) from LC/MSMS analysis, the transition ions of the peptides were used to investigate the presence of the peptides in selected body fluids of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Four peptides, GYPI, APGVGV, GLGAFPA, and VGVLPGVPT, were detected in plasma or sputum of some COPD patients but not in normal controls. A hexapeptide VGVAPG, which had been widely studied for its chemotactic activity for a possible pathogenic role in COPD, was not detected in lung EDPs by HNE or MMP12 digestion, but only by porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) digestion. This study demonstrates a practical methodology to study peptides from matrix degradations in pulmonary disease and a means of investigating their pathogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Experimental Lung Research

Publication Stats

4k Citations
758.11 Total Impact Points


  • 2003-2015
    • Saint Luke's Hospital (NY, USA)
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2014
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Borough of Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2004-2013
    • St. John's University
      • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2003-2013
    • Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • 1962-2013
    • Columbia University
      • • College of Physicians and Surgeons
      • • Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Florida
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 1977-2011
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1997-2009
    • St. Luke's Hospital
      CID, Iowa, United States
  • 2006
    • St. Luke School of Medicine
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2000
    • Maimonides Medical Center
      Brooklyn, New York, United States
    • Case Western Reserve University
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 1999
    • College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
      Saint John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • 1998
    • The Brooklyn Hospital Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1980
    • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1963
    • New York Presbyterian Hospital
      • Department of Pain Medicine
      New York City, New York, United States