The Link reaction, also known as pyruvate decarboxylation forms an important link between the metabolic pathways of glycolysis and the citric acid or Krebs cycle.
In eukaryotes, the reaction takes place only inside the mitochondrial matrix; in prokaryotes similar reactions take place in the cytoplasm and at the plasma membrane.
- Pyruvate is decarboxylated: CO2 is removed.
- It is added to CoA to form Acetyl CoA
Acetyl CoA is then ready for use in the Krebs Cycle.
The Link reaction is important as acetyl-CoA is needed for the Krebs cycle to happen.
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Simplified mechanism for pyruvate dehydrogenase reaction. The TPP coenzyme is shown with abbreviated substituents.