Comparative genomics of DNA-binding transcription factors in archaeal and bacterial organisms

Luis Martinez-Liu, Rafael Hernandez-Guerrero, Nancy Rivera-Gomez, Mario Alberto Martinez-Nuñez, Pedro Escobar-Turriza, Eveline Peeters, Ernesto Perez-Rueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Archaea represent a diverse phylogenetic group that includes free-living, extremophile, mesophile, symbiont, and opportunistic organisms. These prokaryotic organisms share a high significant similarity with the basal transcriptional machinery of Eukarya, and they share regulatory mechanisms with Bacteria, such as operonic organization and DNA-binding transcription factors (TFs). In this work, we identified the repertoire of TFs in 415 archaeal genomes and compared them with their counterparts in bacterial genomes. The comparisons of TFs, at a global level and per family, allowed us to identify similarities and differences between the repertoires of regulatory proteins of bacteria and archaea. For example, 11 of 62 families are more highly abundant in archaea than bacteria, and 13 families are abundant in bacteria but not in archaea and 38 families have similar abundances in the two groups. In addition, we found that archaeal TFs have a lower isoelectric point than bacterial proteins, i.e., they contain more acidic amino acids, and are smaller than bacterial TFs. Our findings suggest a divergence occurred for the regulatory proteins, even though they are common to archaea and bacteria. We consider that this analysis contributes to the comprehension of the structure and functionality of regulatory proteins of archaeal organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254025
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


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