Mercapturic acid urinary metabolites of 3-butene-1,2-diol as in vivo evidence for the formation of hydroxymethylvinyl ketone in mice and rats

Chem Res Toxicol. 2004 Jun;17(6):819-26. doi: 10.1021/tx049949f.


3-Butene-1,2-diol (BDD), a major metabolite of 1,3-butadiene (BD), can readily be oxidized to hydroxymethylvinyl ketone (HMVK), a Michael acceptor. In previous studies, 4-(N-acetyl-l-cystein-S-yl)-1,2-dihydroxybutane (DHB), a urinary metabolite of BD that was used to assess human BD exposure, was suggested to be a metabolite of HMVK, but DHB formation from BDD and the formation of the DHB precursor 4-(N-acetyl-l-cystein-S-yl)-1-hydroxy-2-butanone (HB) have not been previously investigated. In the current study, four HMVK-derived mercapturic acids [DHB, HB, 3-(N-acetyl-l-cystein-S-yl)propan-1-ol (POH), and 3-(N-acetyl-l-cystein-S-yl)propanoic acid (PA)] were identified in the urine of mice and rats given BDD (284-2272 micromol/kg, i.p.) based on GC/MS analyses and comparisons with synthetic standards after esterification and silylation of the carboxyl and hydroxyl groups, respectively. The combined amounts of the mercapturic acids excreted after BDD exposure were dose-dependent and were mostly similar between mice and rats given equivalent doses of BDD. The mercapturic acids accounted for a greater fraction of the administered BDD dose as the dose was lowered, suggesting that HMVK formation represents a prominent route for BDD metabolism in both mice and rats. The major mercapturic acid excreted by mice was DHB, whereas rats excreted equivalent amounts of DHB and HB. The levels of POH or PA were significantly lower in both species relative to DHB or HB. The observed species differences in the excretion of DHB and HB were thought to be due to differences in the capacity of mice and rats to reduce HB to DHB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / urine*
  • Animals
  • Butadienes / metabolism
  • Butanones / metabolism*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Glycols / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Butadienes
  • Butanones
  • Glycols
  • hydroxymethylvinyl ketone
  • 1,3-butadiene
  • 3-butene-1,2-diol
  • Acetylcysteine