What is Pyruvate?

Pyruvate is the conjugate base of pyruvic acid. It is a key intermediate in many biological processes.

It is produced at the end of the glycolysis process and is the connecting link of various biochemical processes such as gluconeogenesis, fermentation, cellular respiration, fatty acid synthesis, etc.

Pyruvate Formula

Pyruvate formula is CH3COCOO.


Biochemical Reactions involving Pyruvate

Pyruvate is a key intermediate in various metabolic processes in living organisms.

It is an important topic from the NEET perspective. See below for important metabolic reactions involving pyruvate.

Types of Reactions

Biochemical Process

Reactions Involving Pyruvate

Enzymes Involved

Pyruvate Synthesis


Glycolysis is the first step in cellular respiration. Glucose is converted to pyruvate in a series of reactions.

Phosphoenolpyruvate or PEP is converted to pyruvate.

PEP carboxylase

Pyruvate Carboxylation


Gluconeogenesis is the process of producing glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. The non-carbohydrate sources are first converted to pyruvate and then to glucose.

Pyruvate is carboxylated to form oxaloacetate.

Pyruvate carboxylase

Pyruvate Oxidation or Decarboxylation

Synthesis of Acetyl-CoA

Acetyl-CoA formed from pyruvate carboxylation enters the Krebs cycle in aerobic respiration.

Acetyl-CoA thus formed is a key intermediate for fatty acid synthesis.

Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex

Pyruvate Reduction

Anaerobic Respiration and Fermentation

Pyruvate is converted to lactate in animals anaerobically.

In alcoholic fermentation, Pyruvate is converted to acetaldehyde and eventually to ethanol.

Lactate dehydrogenase

Pyruvate decarboxylase

Pyruvate Transamination

Formation of amino acid

Pyruvate gets converted to alanine by transamination.

Pyruvate and glutamate get converted into alanine and α-ketoglutarate, respectively.

Alanine transaminase (ALT)

This was a brief note on Pyruvate. Explore notes on Glycolysis and other important concepts related to NEET, only at BYJU’S.

Important MCQs for NEET Biology:

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