Crenarchaeal genomes are organized into a compact nucleoid by a set of small chromatin proteins. Although there is little knowledge of chromatin structure in Archaea, similarities between crenarchaeal and bacterial chromatin proteins suggest that organization and regulation could be achieved by similar mechanisms. In the present review, we describe the molecular properties of crenarchaeal chromatin proteins and discuss the possible role of these architectural proteins in organizing the crenarchaeal chromatin and in gene regulation.

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