Translocator protein (TSPO), also known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, is a highly conserved outer mitochondrial membrane protein present in specific subpopulations of cells within different tissues. In recent studies, the presumptive model depicting mammalian TSPO as a critical cholesterol transporter for steroidogenesis has been refuted by studies examining effects of Tspo gene deletion in vivo and in vitro, biochemical testing of TSPO cholesterol transport function, and specificity of TSPO-mediated pharmacological responses. Nevertheless, high TSPO expression in steroid-producing cells seemed to indicate an alternate function for this protein in steroidogenic mitochondria. To seek an explanation, we used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated TSPO knockout steroidogenic MA-10 Leydig cell (MA-10:TspoΔ/Δ) clones to examine changes to core mitochondrial functions resulting from TSPO deficiency. We observed that 1) MA-10:TspoΔ/Δ cells had a shift in substrate utilization for energy production from glucose to fatty acids with significantly higher mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO), and increased reactive oxygen species production; and 2) oxygen consumption rate, mitochondrial membrane potential, and proton leak were not different between MA-10:TspoΔ/Δ and MA-10:Tspo+/+ control cells. Consistent with this finding, TSPO-deficient adrenal glands from global TSPO knockout (Tspo(-/-)) mice also showed up-regulation of genes involved in FAO compared with the TSPO floxed (Tspo(fl/fl)) controls. These results demonstrate the first experimental evidence that TSPO can affect mitochondrial energy homeostasis through modulation of FAO, a function that appears to be consistent with high levels of TSPO expression observed in cell types active in lipid storage/metabolism.
The StAR protein was first identified, characterized and named by Dr. Douglas Stocco at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 1994.  The role of this protein in lipoid CAH was confirmed the following year in collaboration with Dr. Walter Miller at the University of California, San Francisco .  All of this work follows the initial observations of the appearance of this protein and its phosphorylated form coincident with factors that caused steroid production by Dr. Nanette Orme-Johnson while at Tufts University . 
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.