Pyruvate is an intermediate product of the citrate acid cycle. The citrate acid cycle is the method the human body uses for breaking glucose down into carbon dioxide, creating energy for the body.
Structure of Pyruvate
Pyruvate is a carbonic acid of the structure H3C-CO-COOH. It will decompose into carbon dioxide and acetic acid if heated in water.
Formation of Pyruvate
Pyruvate is formed through the oxidation of glucose. When glucose is oxidized, carbon dioxide is released and energy is created for the body.
Pyruvate is oxidized by being bound to Coenzyme A. NAD+ then reduces the carbonic acid to create carbon dioxide and NADH. Acetyl-Coenzyme A (Acetyl-CoA) is the final product.
Decomposition of Acetyl-CoA
Acetyl-Coenzyme A is further broken down into carbon dioxide through the Krebs Cycle.
Importance of Acetyl-CoA
Acetyl-Coenzyme A is also important for the oxidation of fatty acids and the degradation of some amino acids.