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Oxidative decarboxylation reactions are oxidation reactions in which a carboxylate group is removed, forming carbon dioxide. They often occur in biological systems: there are many examples in the citric acid cycle.

Citric acid cycleEdit

In the citric acid cycle pyruvate dehydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase catalyze oxidative decarboxylation reactions. Each reaction reduces NAD+ to NADH and generates CO2.[1]

Other occurrencesEdit

The transformation of glyoxylate to formic acid is also an oxidative decarboxylation.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Voet, Donald; Voet, Judith; Pratt, Charlotte (2013). Fundamentals of Biochemistry (4 ed.). John Wiley and Sons. pp. 555–565. ISBN 9780470547847.