The metabolism of a stable N-hydroxymethyl derivative of a N-methylamide

Life Sci. 1983 Feb 7;32(6):597-604. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(83)90204-7.


N-Formylbenzamide and benzamide were characterised by high pressure liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry as products of the metabolism of N-hydroxymethylbenzamide in incubation mixtures with mouse liver preparations and isolated hepatocytes. This biotransformation occurred predominantly in 9000g and microsomal supernatant fractions and was also catalyzed by horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase fortified with NAD and could be inhibited by pyrazole. Unlike N-hydroxymethylbenzamide, which is very stable, N-formylbenzamide degraded rapidly to benzamide in buffer at pH 7.4 with a half-life of 7.8 min. The instability of N-formylbenzamide and the time course of its metabolic generation together with benzamide suggest that benzamide is a chemical breakdown product of N-formylbenzamide. N-Formylbenzamide was also tentatively identified as a urinary metabolite of N-hydroxymethylbenzamide. This is the first time that an N-hydroxymethyl compound has been shown to undergo metabolism either in vitro or in vivo.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzamides / metabolism*
  • Biotransformation
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Benzamides
  • N-formylbenzamide
  • N-hydroxymethylbenzamide