Diversity of the DNA Replication System in the Archaea Domain
Felipe Sarmiento, Feng Long, Isaac Cann, and William B. Whitman
Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, 541 Biological Science Building, Athens, GA 30602-2605, USA.
The precise and timely duplication of the genome is essential for cellular life. It is achieved by DNA replication, a complex process that is conserved among the three domains of life. Even though the cellular structure of archaea closely resembles that of bacteria, the information processing machinery of archaea is evolutionarily more closely related to the eukaryotic system, especially for the proteins involved in the DNA replication process. While the general DNA replication mechanism is conserved among the different domains of life, modifications in functionality and in some of the specialized replication proteins are observed. Indeed, Archaea possess specific features unique to this domain. Moreover, even though the general pattern of the replicative system is the same in all archaea, a great deal of variation exists between specific groups.