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Last updated date: 23rd Jul 2024
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Define Pyruvate

Speaking of Pyruvate definition, it is the most basic of the alpha-keto acids with a carboxylic acid and a ketone functional group. Pyruvic acid may be produced from glucose, transferred back to carbohydrates (including glucose) through gluconeogenesis, or converted to fatty acids via an acetyl-CoA reaction. It could also be used to make the amino acid alanine, and it could be fermented to produce ethanol or lactic acid.

While oxygen is available (aerobic respiration), pyruvic acid provides energy to cells via the citric acid cycle (also defined as the Krebs cycle), and then when oxygen is not present (anaerobic respiration), it ferments to generate lactate (lactic acid).

Pyruvic Acid Formula or Pyruvate Chemical Formula: CH3COCOOH

Pyruvic acid formula is a crucial intermediate in a variety of metabolic pathways in the cell.

Pyruvate Structure

Below mentioned is chemical formula of pyruvic acid and the pyruvate structure:-

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Théophile-Jules Pelouze extracted glutaric acid and then another unidentified organic acid from tartaric acid in 1834. Jöns Jacob Berzelius called this other acid pyruvic acid as it was distilled with heat the next year. By the 1870s, the right molecular structure had been discovered.

Pyruvic acid is a colourless liquid via an acetic acid-like odour that is miscible in water.  Pyruvic acid can be made in the lab by heating the mixture of potassium hydrogen sulphate and tartaric acid, oxidising propylene glycol with such a strong oxidizer, or hydrolyzing acetyl cyanide, which is produced when acetyl chloride reacts with potassium cyanide:




Pyruvate is a biochemically essential chemical compound as proved by 

pyruvate formula. It's the product of the glucose metabolism process termed glycolysis. One molecule of glucose is broken down into two molecules of pyruvate, which are then used in one of two ways that provide additional energy.

Pyruvate is observed to be converted to acetyl-coenzyme A, which would be the essential contribution for the Krebs cycle, a sequence of reactions (also termed as the tricarboxylic acid cycle or citric acid cycle). An anaplerotic reaction transforms pyruvate to oxaloacetate, which uses up Krebs cycle intermediates and is often utilized for gluconeogenesis.

Such reactions are titled after Hans Adolf Krebs, a biochemist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology with Fritz Lipmann in 1953 for his work on cellular metabolism. Since citric acid is among the intermediate compounds produced mostly during reactions, the phase is also called the citric acid cycle or tricarboxylic acid cycle.

When there isn't enough oxygen, the acid is degraded anaerobically, resulting in ethanol in plants and microbes and lactate in animals (and carp[11]). Pyruvate via glycolysis is transformed to lactate in lactate fermentation and use the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase and the coenzyme NADH, or acetaldehyde and then to ethanol in alcoholic fermentation by just using enzyme pyruvate decarboxylase. 

Pyruvate is a significant crossroads in the metabolic network. Pyruvate could be transformed into carbohydrates via gluconeogenesis, fatty acids or energy via acetyl-CoA, amino acid alanine, and ethanol via gluconeogenesis. As a consequence, it binds a variety of essential metabolic processes.

Pyruvic Acid Production By Glycolysis

Pyruvate kinase converts phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) to pyruvate during glycolysis. Such reaction is highly exergonic and irreversible; in gluconeogenesis, the reverse conversion of pyruvate to PEP is catalysed by two different enzymes.


Pyruvate is advertised as a weight-loss supplement, although there is no reliable scientific evidence to support this argument. In a systematic review of six trials, pyruvate was found to have a statistically significant difference in body weight relative to placebo. All of the experiments, however, had methodological defects, and the size of the impact was slight.

In addition, pyruvate has been related to diarrhoea, bloating, gas, and a rise in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, according to the study. The writers came to the conclusion that there wasn't enough evidence to back up the use of pyruvate for weight loss.

Pyruvate enhances metabolism by stimulating NADH production and improves cardiac function, according to in vitro and in vivo evidence in hearts.

FAQs on Pyruvate

1. What is the Primary Pyruvate Function?

Ans. The molecule's primary pyruvate function is to serve as a transportation molecule, bringing carbon atoms through mitochondria for complete/full oxidation to carbon dioxide.

2. Is it Possible to Convert Pyruvate to Glucose?

Ans. Glucose is converted to pyruvate in glycolysis, and pyruvate (pyruvate oxidation) is converted to glucose in gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis, on the other hand, is not a reverse of glycolysis. Since glycolysis' equilibrium is far behind on the hand of pyruvate formation, many reactions must vary.