Depending on the number and character of their functional groups, steroid molecules may show diverse reactivities. Moreover, the reactivity of a functional group varies according to its location within the molecule (for example, esters are formed readily by 3-OH groups but only with difficulty by the 11β-OH group). An important property of steroids is polarity —., their solubility in oxygen-containing solvents (., water and alcohols ) rather than hydrocarbon solvents (., hexane and benzene ). Hydroxyl, ketonic, or ionizable (capable of dissociating to form electrically charged particles) groups in a steroid molecule increase its polarity to an extent that is strongly influenced by the spatial arrangement of the atoms within the molecule.
steroid ster·oid (stěr'oid', stēr'-)
Any of numerous naturally occurring or synthetic fat-soluble organic compounds having as a basis 17 carbon atoms arranged in four rings and including the sterols and bile acids, adrenocortical and sex hormones, certain natural drugs such as digitalis compounds, and the precursors of certain vitamins. Also called steroid hormone . adj. ste·roid·al (stĭ-roid', stě-)
Relating to or characteristic of steroids or steroid hormones.