Steroid isolation , depending on context, is the isolation of chemical matter required for chemical structure elucidation, derivitzation or degradation chemistry, biological testing, and other research needs (generally milligrams to grams, but often more  or the isolation of "analytical quantities" of the substance of interest (where the focus is on identifying and quantifying the substance (for example, in biological tissue or fluid). The amount isolated depends on the analytical method, but is generally less than one microgram.  [ page needed ] The methods of isolation to achieve the two scales of product are distinct, but include extraction , precipitation, adsorption , chromatography , and crystallization . In both cases, the isolated substance is purified to chemical homogeneity; combined separation and analytical methods, such as LC-MS , are chosen to be "orthogonal"—achieving their separations based on distinct modes of interaction between substance and isolating matrix—to detect a single species in the pure sample. Structure determination refers to the methods to determine the chemical structure of an isolated pure steroid, using an evolving array of chemical and physical methods which have included NMR and small-molecule crystallography .  : 10–19 Methods of analysis overlap both of the above areas, emphasizing analytical methods to determining if a steroid is present in a mixture and determining its quantity. 
Steroidogenesis in the testis is regulated by a negative feedback mechanism through the hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis. Recent studies suggest that besides this long-loop regulation, testicular steroidogenesis is also locally regulated by androgen. However, the molecular mechanism behind this additional regulatory pathway has been poorly addressed. In the present study, we demonstrate that liganded androgen receptor (AR) suppresses the transcriptional activity of Nur77 on steroidogenic enzyme gene promoters, affecting testicular steroidogenesis. AR physically interacts and colocalizes with Nur77 in the nucleus in the presence of androgen. AR inhibits Nur77 transactivation by competing mainly with coactivators such as SRC-1 for Nur77 binding. These results suggest that androgen, through binding to AR, directly acts as a signal inhibiting the expression of steroidogenic enzyme genes in Leydig cells, eventually resulting in decreased testicular steroidogenesis. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that androgen acts locally to regulate testicular steroidogenesis, and may provide its action mechanism.
Biosynthesis of steroid hormones requires a battery of oxidative enzymes located in both mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. The rate-limiting step in this process is the transport of free cholesterol from the cytoplasm into mitochondria. Within mitochondria, cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone by an enzyme in the inner membrane called CYP11A1. Pregnenolone itself is not a hormone, but is the immediate precursor for the synthesis of all of the steroid hormones. The following table delineates the enzymes required to synthesize the major classes of steroid hormones.