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Dario Vitturi, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
E1341B Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-648-8160
Fax: 412-648-2229


B.S. (Biochemistry), University of the Republic, Uruguay
Ph.D. (Molecular and Cellular Pathology), University of Alabama at Birmingham
Headshot of Dario Vitturi, PhD
Dr. Vitturi's research focuses on the mechanisms by which biological systems harness the generation of free radicals and other reactive species to modulate cell signaling and maintain physiological homeostasis. He is particularly interested in nitrite as a physiologically relevant precursor for nitric oxide (NO) formation that is activated under conditions of acidosis or through metalloprotein-dependent reduction in hypoxic environments. Nitrite has been shown to be a promising therapeutic intervention for many conditions associated with uncontrolled inflammation, decreased NO availability and ischemia-reperfusion events. Importantly, NO generation is just one aspect of the biological reactivity of nitrite, with this molecule also acting as a precursor for the formation of secondary species such as S-nitrosothiols, N-nitrosamines, and nitrated fatty acids, all of which are capable of mediating specific cellular responses. He is also interested in elucidating pathways of formation and signaling actions of endogenous electrophilic molecules. Electrophiles react covalently with nucleophilic residues in proteins, thus modulating enzyme activity and eliciting concerted cell signaling responses which ultimately have the potential to modulate antioxidant responses, inflammation and tissue injury under pathological conditions. Thus, his research encompasses the study of biochemical pathways leading to the formation of reactive species, the elucidation of their allied biological actions and ultimately the development of clinically viable interventions for their modulation under pathological conditions.

Journal Articles

Villacorta L, L Minarrieta, SR Salvatore, NK Khoo, O Rom, Z Gao, RC Berman, S Jobbagy, L Li, SR  Woodcock, YE Chen, BA Freeman, AM Ferreira, FJ Schopfer and DA Vitturi. In situ generation, metabolism and immunomodulatory signaling actions of nitro-conjugated linoleic acid in a murine model of inflammation. Redox Biol 5:522-531, 2018.
Turell L, DA Vitturi, EL Coitino, L Lebrato, M Möller, C Sagasti, SR Salvatore, SR Woodcock, B Alvarez and FJ Schopfer. The chemical basis of thiol addition to nitro-conjugated linoleic acid, a protective cell-signaling lipid. J Biol Chem 292:1145-1159, 2017. 
Vitturi DA, L Minarrieta, SR Salvatore, EM Postlethwait, M Fazzari, G Ferrer-Sueta, JR Lancaster Jr., BA Freeman and Schopfer FJ. Convergence of biological nitration and nitrosation via symmetrical nitrous anhydride. Nat Chem Biol 11:504-510, 2015.
Vitturi DA, CS Chen, SR Woodcock, SR Salvatore, G Bonacci, JR Koenitzer, NA Stewart, N Wakabayashi, TW Kensler, BA Freeman and FJ Schopfer.  Modulation of nitro-fatty acid signaling:  Prostaglandin reductase-1 is a nitroalkene reductase. J Biol Chem 288:25626-25637, 2013.
Salvatore SR, DA Vitturi, PR Baker, G Bonacci, JR Koenitzer, SR Woodcock, BA Freeman and FJ Schopfer.  Characterization and quantification of endogenous fatty acid nitroalkene metabolites in human urine.  J Lipid Res 54:1998-2009, 2013.
Vitturi DA, CW Sun, VM Harper, B Thrash-Williams, N Cantu-Medellin, BK Chacko, N Peng, Y Dai, JM Wyss, T Townes and RP Patel.  Antioxidant functions for the hemoglobin ß93 cysteine residue in erythrocytes and in the vascular compartment in vivo.  Free Radic Biol Med 55:119-129, 2013.
Rodriguez C, DA Vitturi, J He, M Vandromme, A Brandon, A Hutchings, LW Rue, JD Kerby and RP Patel.  Sodium nitrite therapy attenuates the hypertensive effects of HBOC-201 via nitrite reduction.  Biochem J 422:423-432, 2009.
Vitturi DA, X Teng, JC Toledo, S Matalon, JR Lancaster and RP Patel.  Regulation of nitrite transport in red blood cells by hemoglobin oxygen fractional saturation.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 296:H1394-H1407, 2009.
Isbell TS, CW Sun, LC Wu, X Teng, DA Vitturi, BG Branch, CG Kevil, N Peng, JM Wyss, N Ambalavanan, L Schwiebert, J Ren, KM Pawlik, MB Renfrow, RP Patel and TM Townes.  SNO-hemoglobin is not essential for red blood cell-dependent hypoxic vasodilation.  Nat Med 14:773-777, 2008.
Ferrer-Sueta G, D Vitturi, I Batinic-Haberle, I Fridovich, S Goldstein,G Czapski and R Radi. Reactions of manganese porphyrins with peroxynitrite and carbonate radical anion. J Biol Chem 278:27432-27438, 2003.

Sponsored Research

Protection against sickle cell disease nephropathy by nitrated fatty acids - 8/1/2016 - 7/31/2021
NIH - 1K01HL133331