USMLE Step 1


Biochemical Pathways

Pyruvate Metabolism
View this Pyruvate Metabolism mnemonic and other USMLE mnemonics in the Biochemical Pathways playlist.

Pyruvate Metabolism

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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.