Architectural proteins play an important role in compacting and organizing the chromosomal DNA in all three kingdoms of life (Eukarya, Bacteria and Archaea). These proteins are generally not conserved at the amino acid sequence level, but the mechanisms by which they modulate the genome do seem to be functionally conserved across kingdoms. On a generic level, architectural proteins can be classified based on their structural effect as DNA benders, DNA bridgers or DNA wrappers. Although chromatin organization in archaea has not been studied extensively, quite a number of architectural proteins have been identified. In the present paper, we summarize the knowledge currently available on these proteins in Crenarchaea. By the type of architectural proteins available, the crenarchaeal nucleoid shows similarities with that of Bacteria. It relies on the action of a large set of small, abundant and generally basic proteins to compact and organize their genome and to modulate its activity.

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