Pyruvate Metabolism


Pyruvate can be metabolized in many different reactions by the body. The four most important reactions include its conversion into (1) oxaloacetate, (2) alanine, (3) lactate, and (4) acetyl-CoA.

The first is the conversion of pyruvate into oxaloacetate, a reaction catalyzed by pyruvate carboxylase with the co-factor, Biotin (Vitamin B7).

Second, pyruvate can undergo transamination via ALT (alanine transaminase) into alanine, using Vitamin B6 (pyroxidine) as a cofactor.

Third, pyruvate is turned into lactate by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which uses the Vitamin B3 (Niacin)-derived NADH, generating NAD+ in the process.

Finally, pyruvate gets converted into acetyl-CoA by pyruvate dehydrogenase. This reaction is catalyzed by the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, which requires 5 cofactors: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and lipoic acid. It also converts NAD+ to NADH in the process.

Find Pyruvate Metabolism and more Biochemical Pathways among Pixorize's visual mnemonics for the USMLE Step 1 and NBME Shelf Exams.