Transcriptional regulation of methanogenic metabolism in archaea
Katie E Shalvarjian1, Dipti D Nayak
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Methanogenesis is a widespread metabolism of evolutionary and environmental importance that is likely to have originated on early Earth. Microorganisms that perform methanogenesis, termed methanogens, belong exclusively to the domain Archaea. Despite maintaining eukaryotic transcription machinery and homologs of bacterial regulators, archaeal transcription and gene regulation appear to be distinct from either domain. While genes involved in methanogenic metabolism have been identified and characterized, their regulation in response to both extracellular and intracellular signals is less understood. Here, we review recent reports on transcriptional regulation of methanogenesis using two model methanogens, Methanococcus maripaludis and Methanosarcina acetivorans, and highlight directions for future research in this nascent field.