Intracellular cholesterol transfer to mitochondria, a bottleneck of adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis, relies on the functioning of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR, STARD1), for which many disease-associated mutations have been described. Despite significant progress in the field, the exact mechanism of cholesterol binding and transfer by STARD1 remains debatable, and the solution conformation of STARD1 is insufficiently characterized, partially due to its poor solubility. Although cholesterol binding to STARD1 was widely studied by commercially available fluorescent NBD-analogues, the effect of the NBD group position on binding remained unexplored. Here, we analyzed in detail the hydrodynamic properties and solution conformation of STARD1 and its interaction with cholesterol-like steroids bearing 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl (NBD) group in different position, namely 22-NBD-cholesterol (22NC), 25-NBD-cholesterol (25NC), 20-((NBDamino)-pregn-5-en-3-ol (20NP) and 3-(NBDamino)-cholestane (3NC). The small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)-based modeling and docking simulations show that, apart from movements of the flexible Ω1-loop, STARD1 unlikely undergoes significant structural rearrangements proposed earlier as a gating mechanism for cholesterol binding. While being able to stoichiometrically bind 22NC and 20NP with high fluorescence yield and quantitative exhaustion of fluorescence of some protein tryptophans, STARD1 binds 25NC and 3NC with much lower affinity and poor fluorescence yield. In contrast to 3NC, binding of 20NP leads to STARD1 stabilization and increases the NBD fluorescence lifetime. Remarkably, in terms of fluorescence response, 20NP outperforms commonly used 22NC and is recommended for future studies. Our study benefits from state-of-the-art techniques and revisits the results of the STARD1 research over the last 20 years, revealing important novel information.