Characterization of new metabolites from in vivo biotransformation of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline inmouse by mass spectrometry

Fong Fu Hsu, Vijaya M. Lakshmi, Terry V. Zenser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In studying the metabolic pathways underlying the mechanism of carcinogenesis of the heterocyclic amine of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f] quinoline (IQ), we recently found a new metabolite which gave an [M+H]+ ion of m/z 217 when subjected to electro spray ionization (ESI) in positive-ion mode. Following ip injection of this metabolite of m/z 217(designated as m/z 217) to beta-naphthoflavone-treated mice, 57%of the total radioactivity was recovered in a 24-hmouse urine sample. HPLC separation followed by MS analysis indicates that the urine sample contained m/z 217 (36 ± 3% of total recovered radioactivity) and two other peaks that gave rise to the [M+H]+ ions of m/z 393 (31±4%, designated as m/z 393) and m/z 233 (14±1%, designated as m/z 233). Beta-glucuronidase treatment of m/z 393 resulted in a radioactive peak corresponding to m/z 217. ESI in combination with various mass spectrometry techniques, including multiple-stage mass spectrometry, exact mass measurements and H/D exchange followed by tandem mass spectrometry, was used for structural characterization. The urinary metabolites of m/z 217, 393 and 233 were identified as 1,2-dihydro-2-amino-5-hydroxy-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f] quinoline, 1,2-dihydro-2-amino-5-O-glucuronide-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline and 1,2-dihydro-2-amino-5,7-dihydroxy-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline, respectively. Our results demonstrated that m/z 217 is biotransformed in vivo to m/z 393 by O-glucuronidation and to m/z 233 by oxidation. The observation of these more polar metabolites relative to IQ suggests that they may arise from a previously undescribed detoxicification pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1368
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • 2-amino-3-methylimidazo [4,5-f] quinoline
  • Electrospray ionization
  • Heterocyclic amines
  • Linear ion-trap
  • Metabolites
  • Tandem mass spectometry


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