The carboxylate anion of pyruvic acid.
Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis, which is converted into acetyl coA that enters the Krebs cycle when there is sufficient oxygen available. When the oxygen is insufficient, pyruvate is broken down anaerobically, creating lactate in animals (including humans) and ethanol in plants.
Word origin: PYR(O)– + Latin ūva, grape (from its being produced by the dry distillation of racemic acid, originally derived from grapes) + -ate.
Related forms: pyruvic (adjective).
Related phrases: phosphoenol pyruvate, pyruvate decarboxylation.
See also: pyruvic acid, cellular respiration, glycolysis.