For cellular fitness and survival, gene expression levels need to be regulated in response to a wealth of cellular and environmental signals. TFs (transcription factors) execute a large part of this regulation by interacting with the basal transcription machinery at promoter regions. Archaea are characterized by a simplified eukaryote-like basal transcription machinery and bacteria-type TFs, which convert sequence information into a gene expression output according to cis-regulatory rules. In the present review, we discuss the current state of knowledge about these rules in archaeal systems, ranging from DNA-binding specificities and operator architecture to regulatory mechanisms.

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