Covalent modification of microsomal lipids by thiobenzamide metabolites in vivo

Chem Res Toxicol. 2007 Apr;20(4):701-8. doi: 10.1021/tx600362h. Epub 2007 Mar 24.


Thiobenzamide (TB) is hepatotoxic in rats causing centrolobular necrosis, steatosis, cholestasis, and hyperbilirubinemia. It serves as a model compound for a number of thiocarbonyl compounds that undergo oxidative bioactivation to chemically reactive metabolites. The hepatotoxicity of TB is strongly dependent on the electronic character of substituents in the meta- and para-positions, with Hammett rho values ranging from -4 to -2. On the other hand, ortho substituents that hinder nucleophilic addition to the benzylic carbon of S-oxidized TB metabolites abrogate the toxicity and protein covalent binding of TB. This strong linkage between the chemistry of TB and its metabolites and their toxicity suggests that this model is a good one for probing the overall mechanism of chemically induced biological responses. While investigating the protein covalent binding of TB metabolites, we noticed an unusually large amount of radioactivity associated with the lipid fraction of rat liver microsomes. Thin-layer chromatography showed that most of the radioactivity was contained in a single spot more polar than the neutral lipids but less polar than the phospholipid fractions. Mass spectral analyses aided by the use of synthetic standards identified the material as N-benzimidoyl derivatives of typical microsomal phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) lipids. Quantitative analysis indicated that up to 25% of total microsomal PE became modified within 5 h after a hepatotoxic dose of TB. Further studies will be required to determine the contribution of lipid modification to the hepatotoxicity of TB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Thioamides / chemistry
  • Thioamides / metabolism*


  • Thioamides
  • thiobenzamide