Research Topic

New Insights into the Genetic Mechanisms of Thermophilic Archaea

About this Research Topic

For all living organisms, processing and remodeling of the highly organized genomic DNA are among the most essential cellular processes. Archaea employ DNA processing machineries that appear to be more similar to those found in eukaryotes than those of bacteria. The archaeal proteins/enzymes constituting these machineries are usually simpler versions of their eukaryotic counterparts. Therefore, archaea have been regarded as valuable prokaryotic model systems to explore the genetic mechanisms of eukaryotes, such as DNA replication, repair and recombination. Owing to the stability of the proteins/enzymes in vitro and the powerful genetic manipulation techniques, thermophilic archaea have previously attracted attention from scientists in the areas of structural biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Studies on molecular mechanisms of DNA transactions in thermophilic archaea not only shed light on the functioning of eukaryotic cells but also provide clues to the mystery of life’s evolution in the three domains.

To withstand extreme environmental conditions, such as elevated temperatures and low pH, archaea have evolved distinct strategies in chromosome organization and DNA transactions by employing unique proteins or enzymes. In Crenarchaea, a widespread lineage of thermophilic archaea, typical archaeal histones are substituted in most species with several small basic chromatin proteins. How these proteins compact and organize genomic DNA is less clear. For DNA replication, repair and recombination, a lot of new enzymes or subunits of the complexes involved have also been isolated from thermophilic archaea and well characterized in vitro. Large multi-component complexes functioning as a molecular machinery in these processes, however, are rarely reported to now, implying that more components and protein-protein interactions need to be discovered. In addition, the control mechanisms of DNA replication and repair, which may be connected with chromatin organization and post-translational modifications, remains to be understood. Taken together, the diversity of the genetic mechanism of thermophilic archaea may have resembled a melting pot, from which the sophisticated system common to eukaryotes has emerged.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to fill the gaps in our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of chromosome organization and cellular DNA transactions in thermophilic and hyperthermophilic archaea. The topic welcomes Original research, Review, and Mini-Review articles. Areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Chromosomal DNA organization
• Structures and functions of the proteins/complexes involved in DNA replication, repair and recombination
• Replication and integration of viral DNA
• Mechanisms of transcription regulation
• Functions of post-translational protein modifications
• Advanced techniques for studying DNA transactions
• New genetic tools


Keywords: Thermophile, Hyperthermophile, Archaea, Archaeal virus, Chromosome organization, DNA replication, DNA repair, DNA recombination, RNA transcription


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

For all living organisms, processing and remodeling of the highly organized genomic DNA are among the most essential cellular processes. Archaea employ DNA processing machineries that appear to be more similar to those found in eukaryotes than those of bacteria. The archaeal proteins/enzymes constituting these machineries are usually simpler versions of their eukaryotic counterparts. Therefore, archaea have been regarded as valuable prokaryotic model systems to explore the genetic mechanisms of eukaryotes, such as DNA replication, repair and recombination. Owing to the stability of the proteins/enzymes in vitro and the powerful genetic manipulation techniques, thermophilic archaea have previously attracted attention from scientists in the areas of structural biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Studies on molecular mechanisms of DNA transactions in thermophilic archaea not only shed light on the functioning of eukaryotic cells but also provide clues to the mystery of life’s evolution in the three domains.

To withstand extreme environmental conditions, such as elevated temperatures and low pH, archaea have evolved distinct strategies in chromosome organization and DNA transactions by employing unique proteins or enzymes. In Crenarchaea, a widespread lineage of thermophilic archaea, typical archaeal histones are substituted in most species with several small basic chromatin proteins. How these proteins compact and organize genomic DNA is less clear. For DNA replication, repair and recombination, a lot of new enzymes or subunits of the complexes involved have also been isolated from thermophilic archaea and well characterized in vitro. Large multi-component complexes functioning as a molecular machinery in these processes, however, are rarely reported to now, implying that more components and protein-protein interactions need to be discovered. In addition, the control mechanisms of DNA replication and repair, which may be connected with chromatin organization and post-translational modifications, remains to be understood. Taken together, the diversity of the genetic mechanism of thermophilic archaea may have resembled a melting pot, from which the sophisticated system common to eukaryotes has emerged.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to fill the gaps in our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of chromosome organization and cellular DNA transactions in thermophilic and hyperthermophilic archaea. The topic welcomes Original research, Review, and Mini-Review articles. Areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Chromosomal DNA organization
• Structures and functions of the proteins/complexes involved in DNA replication, repair and recombination
• Replication and integration of viral DNA
• Mechanisms of transcription regulation
• Functions of post-translational protein modifications
• Advanced techniques for studying DNA transactions
• New genetic tools


Keywords: Thermophile, Hyperthermophile, Archaea, Archaeal virus, Chromosome organization, DNA replication, DNA repair, DNA recombination, RNA transcription


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

28 February 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

28 February 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..