Pyruvate is the anionic form of pyruvic acid. It is also a major biological molecule.
Structure of pyruvate
Pyruvate is a α-keto-acid with the structure CH3-CO-COOH, which has a carboxylic acid (COOH) group and ketone group.
Function of pyruvate
Pyruvate is a metabolite involved in a large number of biological processes:
- Firstly, the Krebs cycle: pyruvate is decarboxylated by a multi-enzyme complex into acetyl-coenzyme A, a molecule involved in the first stage of the Krebs cycle;
- Secondly, glycolysis: pyruvate is the final product of glycolysis (two pyruvate molecules are formed from a glucose molecule). Thridly, they are obtained from the dephosphorylation of PEP (phosphoenolpyruvate) and transfer phosphate to an ADP molecule to form an ADP molecule.
- Lastly, gluconeogenesis: pyruvate is converted into oxaloacetate by pyruvate carboxylase.
Pyruvate is the ionised form of pyruvic acid. © Benjah-bmm27, Wikimedia, public domain