What are Hydrogenases ?
Hydrogenases are enzymes that can reversibly split molecular
hydrogen to produce
It is believed that we apparently have such hydrogenases in our bodies.
Incidentally,all living organisms on this earth, both plant and animal, are
termed "DNA oraganisms." This means that all living organisms on the
earth share common ancestor. I will now write about our ancestor born 3.8 billion
In 1997,an article called "Biological Activition of Hydrogen
" by R.P.Happe of Amsterdam University was submitted in the English Journal"
"Nature", Vol. 385,pp 126,'97.
The main thrust of this article is as follows.
Hydrogenases are enzymes that can reversibly split molecular hydrogen. ......
the crystal structure of a Ni/Fe hydrogenase (from the bacterium Desulfovibrio
gigas) was reported. ...... Ni/Fe hydrogenases are among the oldest enzymes (3.8
billion years old) , demonstrating that early life forms had developed an effective
way to activate molecular hydrogen at ambient temperature and pH.......
My own explanation of this article is as follows.
It is active oxygen that threatens the survival
of living organisms.
For living organisms to survive, it was necessary
to develop a mechanism for
scavenging active oxygen.
The best way to scavenge active oxygen is by means
of atomic (active) hydrogen.
To produce atomic (active) hydrogen, it is necessary
to split molecular hydrogen.
The hydrogenase developed by bacteria 3.8 billion
years ago, an enzyme that split
molecular to produce atomic hydrogen.
We have seen, then. that to ensure their own survival,
it was necessary for living
organisms to achieve the ability to produce active hydrogen in order to scavenge
active oxygen ; hydrogenase developed by the oldest bacteria 3.8 billion years
one of theses enzymes. Moreover, we may consider that this hydrogenase was the
ancestorfound in the bodies of higher creatures including ourselves.