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Pyruvate Decarboxylation Reaction
In the presence of oxygen, the cell can choose to undergo aerobic cellular respiration. In this case, the pyruvate molecules produced in glycolysis will be transported into the mitochondrial matrix. Once inside the mitochondrial matrix, the pyruvate will undergo a process known as oxidative decarboxylation. This process involves a group of enzymes that together form a complex called the pyruvate decarboxylase complex. These enzymes also require the activity of cofactors called coenzyme A and NAD+. The final products of this reaction are acetyl coenzyme A, NADH, carbon dioxide and the H+ ion. Since there are two pyruvate molecules that go into the process per glucose molecule, there are a total of two acetal CoA, 2 NADH, 2 CO2 and 2H+ ions formed during the reaction.
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