Methemoglobin oxidation of N-acetylbenzldine to form a sulfinamide

Terry V. Zenser, Vijaya M. Lakshmi, Fong Fu Hsu, Bernard B. Davis

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8 Scopus citations


Aromatic amine sulfinamide adducts of hemoglobin are biomarkers of exposure and evidence for cytochrome P-450 N-hydroxylation. The possible peroxidatic formation of an N-acetylbenzidine (ABZ) sulfinamide adduct by methemoglobin was examined. Following addition of H2O2, 0.06 mM [3H]ABZ was metabolized by methemoglobin. With 0.3 mM glutathione, a new peak was observed, ABZ-SG, representing 17% of the total radioactivity. N′-Hydroxy-N-acetylbenzidine and 4′-nitro-4-acetylaminobiphenyl were not detected. Optimal ABZ-SG formation was observed with 3 uM methemoglobin, 0.1 to 0.3 mM glutathione, and pH 5.5. Higher concentrations of glutathione were inhibitory. Without glutathione, an H2O2-to-ABZ molar ratio of 1:1 resulted in complete metabolism of ABZ. This ratio increased to greater than 2:1 with 0.3 mM glutathione. Nearly complete inhibition of ABZ-SG formation by cyanide (10 mM), ascorbic acid (0.1 mM), 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (50 mM), thiourea (1 mM), and azide (0.3 mM), and the lack of inhibition by mannitol (50 mM) and superoxide dismutase (2/μg) is consistent with a methemoglobin-mediated peroxidatic reaction, which does not involve hydroxyl radical or superoxide. ABZ-SG was identified by electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry as N′-(glutathion-S-yl)-N-acetylbenzidine S-oxide. Conjugate was hydrolyzed by 0.1 N HCI and NaOH, was relatively stable at pH 5.5 and 7.4, and was susceptible to γglutamyltranspeptidase treatment. Formation of an ABZ sulfinamide conjugate with hemoglobin was demonstrated. The results demonstrate that methemoglobin can catalyze the peroxidatic formation of an ABZ sulfinamide adduct, perhaps by a diimine monocation intermediate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - 2001


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