Pyruvate or Pyruvic acid is a 3-carbon molecule with a ketone and carboxylic acid functional group. It has the chemical formula C3H4O3 and a molar mass of 88.06 g/mol. It plays a major part in the glycolytic pathway (glycolysis). Two molecules of pyruvate are produced from one molecule of glucose and there are seven steps in this process. Pyruvate then goes on to be converted to acetyl CoA (coenzyme A) in the Krebs cycle - the next step in respiration, which takes place in the mitochondria. However, it is only converted if there is sufficient oxygen available. If not then pyruvate is broken down into lactate (lactic acid) in humans.
Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis and can also be converted back to glucose by gluconeogenesis. Each glucose molecule produces 2 pyruvate molecules.