Post-initiation regulatory mechanisms of transcription in the Archaea
Increasingly sophisticated biochemical and genetic techniques are unraveling the regulatory factors and mechanisms that control gene expression in the Archaea. While some regulatory strategies are universal, archaeal-specific regulatory strategies are emerging to complement a complex patchwork of shared archaeal-bacterial and archaeal-eukaryotic regulatory mechanisms employed in the archaeal domain. Archaeal systems contain simplified, basal regulatory transcription components and mechanisms homologous to their eukaryotic counterparts, but also deploy tactics common to bacterial systems to regulate promoter usage and influence elongation-termination decisions. Many archaeal genomes are organized with histone proteins that resemble the core eukaryotic histone fold, which permits DNA wrapping through select histone-DNA contacts to generate chromatin-structures that impacts transcription regulation and gene expression. Despite such semblance between the eukaryotic and archaeal core histone folds, archaeal genomes lack the canonical N and C terminal extensions that are abundantly modified to regulate transcription in eukaryotic genomes. Much of what is known regarding factor-mediated transcription regulation in the Archaea is limited; however combined and continued efforts across the field provide tidbits of information, but many pieces are still missing. This thesis aims to i) delineate the role key residues within the histone-DNA complex and archaeal histone-based architecture and key residues within the histone-DNA complex have on the progression of the transcription apparatus, characterize factor-mediated transcription termination, and explore chromatin- and TFS-mediated regulatory effects on transcription via global RNA polymerase (RNAP) positions.
Includes bibliographical references.