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Sodium pyruvate is used in cell culture media as an additional source of energy. It acts as an antioxidant and finds protective effects against oxygen radicals. It serves as an intermediate in many metabolic pathways such as sugar metabolism. It is converted into acetyl coenzyme A and enters the trichloroacetic acid cycle. In addition, it is involved with amino acid metabolism and initiates the Kreb's cycle. It plays an important role as a free radical scavenger.
Asmus, C.; Mozziconacci, O.; Scho?neich, C. Low-Temperature NMR Characterization of Reaction of Sodium Pyruvate with Hydrogen Peroxide. J. Phys. Chem. A 2015, 119 (6), 966-977.
Mitsopoulos, P.; Chang, Y. H.; Wai, T.; König, T.; Dunn, S. D.; Langer, T.; Madrenas, J. Stomatin-Like Protein 2 Is Required for In Vivo Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Supercomplex Formation and Optimal Cell Function. Mol. Cell. Biol. 2015, 35 (10), 1838-1847.