Analysis of cytochrome P450 metabolites of arachidonic and linoleic acids by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with ion trap MS

Anal Biochem. 1998 Dec 1;265(1):55-68. doi: 10.1006/abio.1998.2897.


We have used reversed phase-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (RP-HPLC-MS) with an ion trap mass spectrometer to study the metabolism of arachidonic and linoleic acids by human recombinant cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. We first recorded the MS2 spectra of the carboxylate anions of epoxides, diols, omega-side chain, and bisallylic hydroxy fatty acids of arachidonic, octadeuterated arachidonic, and linoleic acids. The metabolites formed by CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 were then studied. CYP2C9 converted arachidonic and linoleic acids to epoxides/diols and monohydroxy fatty acids. Some hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs) were studied in detail to investigate the oxygenation mechanism. Incubation of CYP2C9 under oxygen-18 gas showed that all HETEs had incorporated oxygen-18 to the same degree. Chiral HPLC showed that CYP2C9 formed 15R-HETE (72% of the R enantiomer), 13S-HETE (90%), and 11R-HETE (57%). RP-HPLC-MS analysis revealed that CYP2C19 oxygenated arachidonic acid to 19-HETE, 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET), and 8,9-EET as main metabolites. The method was sufficiently sensitive to identify arachidonic acid metabolites formed by some other isozymes. RP-HPLC-MS with MS2 seems to be useful for rapid identification of fatty acid metabolites in complex mixtures formed by cytochrome P450.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arachidonic Acids / chemistry
  • Arachidonic Acids / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / chemistry
  • Linoleic Acids / chemistry
  • Linoleic Acids / metabolism*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Oxygen / metabolism


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Oxygen