It is now generally accepted that the Archaea share many similarities in their information-processing pathways with eukarya. Archaeal and eukaryal DNA replication and transcriptional machineries show particularly striking similarities, and the archaeal processes have been used extensively as simpler models of the much more complex eukaryal ones. Archaeal DNA-repair pathways are not yet well characterized, and their relationship with repair pathways in bacteria and eukarya are still open to question. There are also strong distinctions between the major subdivisions crenarchaea and euryarchaea within the archaeal domain. This review highlights some of these similarities and differences using specific examples arising from our studies of the double-stranded and single-stranded DNA-binding proteins and the repair endonuclease XPF in the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus.

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