Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is thought to mainly function as a transporter and reservoir for the estradiol and testosterone sex hormones. However it has also been demonstrated that SHBG can bind to a cell surface receptor (SHBG-R). The SHBG-R has not been completely characterized. A subset of steroids are able to bind to the SHBG/SHBG-R complex resulting in an activation of adenylyl cyclase and synthesis of the cAMP second messenger.  Hence the SHBG/SHBG-R complex appears to act as a transmembrane steroid receptor that is capable of transmitting signals to the interior of cells.
In order to overcome many limitations of immunoassays, high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) has the potential to find its place in the clinical laboratory medicine for quantification of steroid hormones. A prerequisite for the application of a new analytical procedure in clinical diagnostics is standardization to minimize analytical intra- and interlaboratory variability and inaccuracy. We evaluate a newly standardized HPLC-MS/MS assay in kit-format, developed for routine determination of 16 steroid hormones in human serum samples. Fifteen metabolites can be measured quantitatively, which include aldosterone, androstenedione, androsterone, corticosterone, cortisol, cortisone, 11-deoxycortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), 17β-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), etiocholanolone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17OHP), progesterone, and testosterone. 11-Deoxycorticosterone is the only compound rated as semi-quantitative in this kit. The sample preparation is performed by solid phase extraction (SPE) on a 96-well plate. The standardized assay has been validated for human serum in terms of lower and upper limit of quantification (LLOQ -32 ng/mL, ULOQ 5-8000 ng/mL), linear correlation coefficient of calibration (R(2)>), intra- and inter-day precision (intra-day -%, inter-day -% and -% for 11-deoxycorticosterone), accuracy (intra-day -% and -% for 11-deoxycorticosterone, inter-day -% and -% for 11-deoxycorticosterone), analytical total error (-%), proficiency test accuracy (-%), recovery (68-99%), and metabolite stability (freeze/thaw stability -%, short term stability -%). Inter-assay comparison with a routine reference HPLC-MS/MS assay and seven immunoassays demonstrates the outstanding high performance of this HPLC-MS/MS based kit by improvements in accuracy for progesterone, androstenedione, and 17OHP. Finally, results of two metyrapone tests demonstrate the potential of the standardized HPLC-MS/MS assay for the analysis of a comprehensive steroid hormone profile in clinical diagnostics.
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.