Pyruvate metabolism

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Gallus gallus
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Pyruvate sits at an intersection of key pathways of energy metabolism. It is the end product of glycolysis and the starting point for gluconeogenesis IWatford 1985). It can be converted by the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex to acetyl CoA which can enter the TCA cycle or serve as the starting point for the syntheses of long chain fatty acids, steroids, and ketone bodies. It also plays a central role in balancing the energy needs of various tissues in the body: under anaerobic conditions (e.g., rapidly exercising white muscle), pyruvate is reduced to lactate which is exported from the cell and taken up by tissues that can re-oxidize it to pyruvate for futher oxidative metabolism via acetyl CoA (e.g., red muscle) or for gluconeogenesis (e.g., kidney cortex) (Wilson et al. 1998; Yorita et al. 1987).

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