Identification of Xenobiotic Biotransformation Products Using Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics Integrated with a Structural Elucidation Strategy by Assembling Fragment Signatures

Yuan Chih Chen, Hsin Yi Wu, Wei Sheng Wu, Jen Yi Hsu, Chih Wei Chang, Yuan Han Lee, Pao Chi Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The identification of xenobiotic biotransformation products is crucial for delineating toxicity and carcinogenicity that might be caused by xenobiotic exposures and for establishing monitoring systems for public health. However, the lack of available reference standards and spectral data leads to the generation of multiple candidate structures during identification and reduces the confidence in identification. Here, a UHPLC-HRMS-based metabolomics strategy integrated with a metabolite structure elucidation approach, namely, FragAssembler, was proposed to reduce the number of false-positive structure candidates. biotransformation product candidates were filtered by mass defect filtering (MDF) and multiple-group comparison. FragAssembler assembled fragment signatures from the MS/MS spectra and generated the modified moieties corresponding to the identified biotransformation products. The feasibility of this approach was demonstrated by the three biotransformation products of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP). Comprehensive identification was carried out, and 24 and 13 biotransformation products of two xenobiotics, DEHP and 4′-Methoxy-α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (4-MeO-α-PVP), were annotated, respectively. The number of 4-MeO-α-PVP biotransformation product candidates in the FragAssembler calculation results was approximately 2.1 times lower than that generated by BioTransformer 3.0. Our study indicates that the proposed approach has great potential for efficiently and reliably identifying xenobiotic biotransformation products, which is attributed to the fact that FragAssembler eliminates false-positive reactions and chemical structures and distinguishes modified moieties on isomeric biotransformation products. The FragAssembler software and associated tutorial are freely available at https://cosbi.ee.ncku.edu.tw/FragAssembler/ and the source code can be found at https://github.com/YuanChihChen/FragAssembler.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14279-14287
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume95
Issue number38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 26

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry

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