Pyruvate

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pyruvate is the carboxylate (COOH) ion (anion) of pyruvic acid, an organic acid which is a key intersection in several metabolic pathways. It is a chemical substance made in our bodies as a result of glucose metabolism. Pyruvate can be made from glucose through glycolysis and supplies energy to living cells in the citric acid cycle, and can also be converted to carbohydrates via gluconeogenesis, to fatty acids or energy through acetyl-CoA, to the amino acid alanine and to ethanol.

Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis, which is used and synthesized by many metabolic pathways. In energy generation, it can be either converted to lactate, when the oxygen is not sufficient, or broken down to water and carbon dioxide in the presence of oxygen, generating large amounts of ATP.

Pyruvate, which is a natural metabolic fuel and antioxidant in myocardium and other tissues, exerts a variety of cardioprotective actions when provided at supraphysiological concentrations. Pyruvate increases cardiac contractile performance and myocardial energy state, bolsters endogenous antioxidant systems, and protects myocardium from ischemia-reperfusion injury and oxidant stress.

The Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex and Kreb's Cycle explanation ( Video )