High-resolution quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (HRMS), with high-resolution (> 10,000 at full-width at half-maximum) and accurate mass (< 5 ppm deviation) capabilities, plays an important role in the structural elucidation of drug metabolites in the pharmaceutical industry. ML106, a derivative of imidazobenzimidazole, decreased melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Here, we investigated the phase 1 metabolic pathway of ML106 using HRMS in human liver microsomes (HLMs) and recombinant cDNA-expressed cytochrome P450 (CYP). After the incubation of ML106 with pooled HLMs and recombinant cDNA-expressed CYP in the presence of NADPH, five phase 1 metabolites, including three mono-hydroxylated metabolites (M1-3) and two di-hydroxylated metabolites (M4 and M5), were investigated. The metabolite structures were postulated by the elucidation of protonated mass spectra using HRMS. The CYP isoforms related to the hydroxylation of ML106 were studied after incubation with recombinant cDNA-expressed CYP. Here, we identified the phase 1 metabolic pathway of ML106 induced by CYP in HLMs.
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