Adiponectin is an abundantly circulating adipokine, orchestrating its effects through two 7-transmembrane receptors (AdipoR1 and AdipoR2). Steroidogenesis is regulated by a variety of neuropeptides and adipokines. Earlier studies have reported adipokine mediated steroid production. A key rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis is cholesterol transportation across the mitochondrial membrane by steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR). Several signalling pathways regulate StAR expression. The actions of adiponectin and its role in human adrenocortical steroid biosynthesis are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of adiponectin on StAR protein expression, steroidogenic genes, and cortisol production and to dissect the signalling cascades involved in the activation of StAR expression. Using qRT-PCR, Western blot analysis and ELISA, we have demonstrated that stimulation of human adrenocortical H295R cells with adiponectin results in increased cortisol secretion. This effect is accompanied by increased expression of key steroidogenic pathway genes including StAR protein expression via ERK1/2 and AMPK-dependent pathways. This has implications for our understanding of adiponectin receptor activation and peripheral steroidogenesis. Finally, our study aims to emphasise the key role of adipokines in the integration of metabolic activity and energy balance partly via the regulation of adrenal steroid production. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 11th European Symposium on Calcium.
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. 
The seven enzymes involved in the shikimate pathway are DAHP synthase , 3-dehydroquinate synthase , 3-dehydroquinate dehydratase , shikimate dehydrogenase , shikimate kinase , EPSP synthase , and chorismate synthase . The pathway starts with two substrates , phosphoenol pyruvate and erythrose-4-phosphate and ends with chorismate , a substrate for the three aromatic amino acids. The fifth enzyme involved is the shikimate kinase , an enzyme that catalyzes the ATP -dependent phosphorylation of shikimate to form shikimate 3-phosphate (shown in the figure below).  Shikimate 3-phosphate is then coupled with phosphoenol pyruvate to give 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate via the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase .