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Cancer Lett. 1999 Sep 1;143(2):145-8.

Biomonitoring of heterocyclic aromatic amine metabolites in human urine.

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  • 1Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


Human exposure to heterocyclic aromatic amines such as MeIQx (2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline) may be monitored by measuring the levels of the heterocyclic aromatic amine in urine. In order to investigate the contribution of N-oxidation to the metabolism of MeIQx in vivo, we developed a biomonitoring procedure for the analysis and quantification of the N2-glucuronide conjugate of 2-hydroxyamino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline in human urine. Subjects (n = 66) in the dietary study ingested a uniform diet of cooked meat containing known amounts of MeIQx, and urine was collected after consumption of the test meal. A method based on solid-phase extraction and immunoaffinity separation was used to isolate N2-(beta-1-glucosiduronyl)-2-hydroxyamino-3,8-dimethylimidazo++ +[4,5-f]quinoxaline and its stable isotope-labeled internal standard from urine. The isolated conjugate was converted to the deaminated product 2-hydroxy-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline by treatment with acetic acid under moderate heating. 2-Hydroxy-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline and the [2H3]methyl analog were derivatized to form the corresponding 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)benzyl ether derivatives and quantified by capillary gas chromatography-negative ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry employing selected ion monitoring procedures. The amounts of N2-(beta-1-glucosiduronyl)-2-hydroxyamino-3,8-dimethylimidazo++ +[4,5-f]quinoxaline recovered in urine collected 0-12 h after the test meal accounted for 2.2-17.1% of the ingested dose, with a median value of 9.5%. The variability in the proportion of the dose excreted among the subjects may be reflective of several factors, including interindividual variation in the enzymic activity of CYP1A2 and/or conjugation reactions of the N-hydroxylamine metabolite with N-glucuronosyltransferase(s).

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