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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2006 Mar;17(3):363-75. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Application of a linear ion trap/orbitrap mass spectrometer in metabolite characterization studies: examination of the human liver microsomal metabolism of the non-tricyclic anti-depressant nefazodone using data-dependent accurate mass measurements.

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  • 1Thermo Electron Corporation, Somerset, New Jersey, USA.


We report herein, facile metabolite identification workflow on the anti-depressant nefazodone, which is derived from accurate mass measurements based on a single run/experimental analysis. A hybrid LTQ/orbitrap mass spectrometer was used to obtain accurate mass full scan MS and MS/MS in a data-dependent fashion to eliminate the reliance on a parent mass list. Initial screening utilized a high mass tolerance ( approximately 10 ppm) to filter the full scan MS data for previously reported nefazodone metabolites. The tight mass tolerance reduces or eliminates background chemical noise, dramatically increasing sensitivity for confirming or eliminating the presence of metabolites as well as isobaric forms. The full scan accurate mass analysis of suspected metabolites can be confirmed or refuted using three primary tools: (1) predictive chemical formula and corresponding mass error analysis, (2) rings-plus-double bonds, and (3) accurate mass product ion spectra of parent and suspected metabolites. Accurate mass characterization of the parent ion structure provided the basis for assessing structural assignment for metabolites. Metabolites were also characterized using parent product ion m/z values to filter all tandem mass spectra for identification of precursor ions yielding similar product ions. Identified metabolite parent masses were subjected to chemical formula calculator based on accurate mass as well as bond saturation. Further analysis of potential nefazodone metabolites was executed using accurate mass product ion spectra. Reported mass measurement errors for all full scan MS and MS/MS spectra was <3 ppm, regardless of relative ion abundance, which enabled the use of predictive software in determining product ion structure. The ability to conduct biotransformation profiling via tandem mass spectrometry coupled with accurate mass measurements, all in a single experimental run, is clearly one of the most attractive features of this methodology.

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