Pyruvate metabolism

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
Cori Cycle (interconversion of glucose and lactate)
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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 and can be generated by the transamination of alanine. The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex can convert it to acetyl CoA (Reed and Hackert 1990), which can enter the TCA cycle or serve as the starting point for the syntheses of long-chain fatty acids, steroids, and ketone bodies depending on the tissue and metabolic state in which it is formed. It also plays a central role in balancing the energy needs of various tissues in the body. Under conditions in which oxygen supply is limiting, e.g., in exercising muscle, or in the absence of mitochondria, e.g., in red blood cells, re-oxidation of NADH produced by glycolysis cannot be coupled to the generation of ATP. Instead, re-oxidation is coupled to the reduction of pyruvate to lactate. This lactate is released into the blood and taken up primarily by the liver, where it is oxidized to pyruvate and can be used for gluconeogenesis (Cori 1981). For a recent review, see Prochownik & Wang, 2021.
Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
7273846 The glucose-lactic acid cycle and gluconeogenesis

Cori, CF

Curr Top Cell Regul 1981
2188967 Structure-function relationships in dihydrolipoamide acyltransferases.

Reed, LJ, Hackert, ML

J Biol Chem 1990
33808495 The Metabolic Fates of Pyruvate in Normal and Neoplastic Cells

Prochownik, EV, Wang, H

Cells 2021
Event Information
Go Biological Process
Orthologous Events
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