Which of the following raw material is used for the commercial production of the steroid hormone progesterone?

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Which of the following raw material is used for the commercial production of the steroid hormone progesterone? Ans: Diosgenin

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that plays important role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy in humans and other species. The chemical formula of progesterone is C21H30O2 and the molecular weight is 314 g/mol. In mammals, progesterone is derived from pregnenolone. The molecule pregnenolone is synthesized from cholesterol. Progesterone is synthesized in the ovaries and adrenal glands.

At the industrial level, the commercial production of steroid hormone progesterone requires plant steroid diosgenin. It is derived from the plant Dioscorea Mexicana. The commercial production of progesterone is used for the manufacturing of oral contraceptive pills.

The process of synthesis of progesterone from plant-derived diosgenin is known as Marker degradation. The process was developed by American chemist Russell Earl Marker in 1940 at the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company.