The Link reaction, also known as pyruvate decarboxylation or the Swanson Conversion, 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.
Images for kids
Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Mechanism
Pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 subunit of E. coli. Colors represent different chains. Structure determined by Arjunan et al. Biochemistry 2002. Created with PyMol.