Pyruvic acid

simplest of the alpha-keto acids
(Redirected from Pyruvate)

Pyruvic acid is the simplest of the keto acids, with a carboxylic acid and a ketone functional group. Pyruvate, the conjugate base, is an important part of several metabolic chemical reactions. Pyruvate is an important chemical compound in biochemistry.

Pyruvic acid can be made from glucose through glycolysis. One molecule of glucose breaks down into two molecules of pyruvate. These are then used to give more energy to living animals, plants and microorganisms. It is then changed back to carbohydrates (such as glucose) by a metabolic chemical reaction named gluconeogenesis, or to fatty acids through a similar reaction.[1] It can also be used to make the amino acid alanine and can be converted into ethanol or lactic acid by fermentation.

Pyruvic acid gives energy to cells through the citric acid cycle, when oxygen is present (aerobic respiration), and also makes lactate when oxygen is lacking (fermentation).


  1. Fox, Stuart Ira (2011). Human Physiology (12th ed.). McGraw=Hill. p. 146.