Oldest enzyme in cellular respiration isolated

Researchers from Goethe University have found what is perhaps the oldest enzyme in cellular respiration. They have been able to isolate the extremely fragile ‘Rnf’ protein complex from the heat-loving bacterium Thermotoga maritima. In fact, the genes that encode for the enzyme were already discovered. However, the researchers have now succeeded for the first time in isolating the enzyme and thus in proving that it really is formed by bacteria and used for energy production.