Histone-DNA assemblies in archaea. Shaping the genome on the edge of life
All life on earth contains DNA, which is used to store biological information. Organisms compact their DNA in order for it to fit inside their cell(s).
- Henneman, B.
- 05 december 2019
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
All life on earth contains DNA, which is used to store biological information. Organisms compact their DNA in order for it to fit inside their cell(s). Specialized proteins, which are referred to as nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs), help organize the DNA to keep it compact but accessible for transcription. These NAPs often function as DNA benders, bridgers and wrappers. In most eukaryotic and archaeal species, histones are important NAPs that are able to bend or wrap the DNA duplex around its core. In this thesis, the histones from archaea are described in terms of their interaction with DNA. We describe archaeal histones on a molecular level and analyze their primary structure. We also characterize recombinant expressed archaeal histones using single molecule techniques such as tethered particle motion and magnetic tweezers. Experiments using these techniques show that some archaeal histones form a rod-shaped structure together with DNA in solution. This hypernucleosome strongly compacts DNA. Furthermore, we discuss the impact of hypernucleosome formation on transcription regulation in archaea.