In all organisms of the three living domains (Bacteria, Archaea, Eucarya) chromosome-associated proteins play a key role in genome functional organization. They not only compact and shape the genome structure, but also regulate its dynamics, which is essential to allow complex genome functions. Elucidation of chromatin composition and regulation is a critical issue in biology, because of the intimate connection of chromatin with all the essential information processes (transcription, replication, recombination, and repair). Chromatin proteins include architectural proteins and DNA topoisomerases, which regulate genome structure and remodelling at two hierarchical levels. This review is focussed on architectural proteins and topoisomerases from hyperthermophilic Archaea. In these organisms, which live at high environmental temperature (>80 °C <113 °C), chromatin proteins and modulation of the DNA secondary structure are concerned with the problem of DNA stabilization against heat denaturation while maintaining its metabolic activity.
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