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The interplay between nucleoid organization and transcription in archaeal genomes

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Abstract

The archaeal genome is organized by either eukaryotic-like histone proteins or bacterial-like nucleoid-associated proteins. Recent studies have revealed novel insights into chromatin dynamics and their effect on gene expression in archaeal model organisms. In this Progress article, we discuss the interplay between chromatin proteins, such as histones and Alba, and components of the basal transcription machinery, as well as between chromatin structure and gene-specific transcription factors in archaea. Such an interplay suggests that chromatin might have a role in regulating gene expression on both a global and a gene-specific level. Moreover, several archaeal transcription factors combine a global gene regulatory role with an architectural role, thus contributing to chromatin organization and compaction, as well as gene expression. We describe the emerging principles underlying how these factors cooperate in nucleoid structuring and gene regulation.

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Figure 1: Chromatin organization in archaea.
Figure 2: Putative transcription regulatory mechanisms of chromatin proteins in archaea.
Figure 3: Interplay between transcription factors and histones modulates transcriptional regulation.

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Acknowledgements

Research in the laboratory of R.T.D. is supported by grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (864.08.001), High Tech Systems & Materials NanoNextNL program 8B, the FOM Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter program 'Crowd management: the physics of genome processing in complex environments' and the Human Frontier Science Program (RGP0014/2014). E.P. is supported by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen) and by the Research Council of Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

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Peeters, E., Driessen, R., Werner, F. et al. The interplay between nucleoid organization and transcription in archaeal genomes. Nat Rev Microbiol 13, 333–341 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3467

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