Ribulose-1,5-biphosphate (RuBP) is an important substrate involved in carbon fixation. The enzyme Rubisco catalyzes RuBP with carbon dioxide in order to synthesize a highly unstable 6-carbon intermediate known as 3-keto-2-carboxyarabinitol 1,5-bisphosphate, which decays virtually instantaneously into two molecules of glycerate 3-phosphate (3PG) (see Calvin Cycle).

RuBP is both used and created during the Calvin Cycle. It is a product of the phosphorylation of ribulose-5-phosphate by ATP.

Used in carbon fixation (of the Calvin cycle):5-carbon RuBP + 1-carbon CO2 --> 6-carbon intermediate --> 2 3PG.Each (3-carbon) 3PG is then reduced to G3P in carbon reduction.5 G3P = 3 RuBP.2 G3P = 1 C6H12O6 (glucose).

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