Cholestenoic acids are cholesterol metabolic intermediates and precursors to bile acids. 3β-hydroxy-7-oxo-5-cholestenoic acid is synthesized from 7β-hydroxycholesterol. The enzymes for synthesis of cholestenoic acids are majorly present in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammals. 3β-hydroxy-7-oxo-5-cholestenoic acid (3βH,7O-CA) is also synthesized from 26-hydroxy-7-oxocholesterol by the action of the enzyme cytochrome P450 family 27 subfamily A member 1 sterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27A1).
3β-hydroxy-7-oxocholest-5-en-26-oic acid (3βH,7O-CA) acts as a ligand for liver X receptors (LXR) and activates them at micromolar concentration. 3βH,7O-CA favors the islet-1+ cells synthesis and islet-1–GFP expression. 3βH,7O-CA also mediates oculomotor neurons maturation and its conversion to 3β,7β-dihydroxycholest-5-en-(25S)26-oic acid (3β,7β-diHCA) is catalyzed by the enzyme hydroxysteroid 11-β dehydrogenase.