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1.  Hot Transcriptomics 
Archaea  2011;2010:897585.
DNA microarray technology allows for a quick and easy comparison of complete transcriptomes, resulting in improved molecular insight in fluctuations of gene expression. After emergence of the microarray technology about a decade ago, the technique has now matured and has become routine in many molecular biology laboratories. Numerous studies have been performed that have provided global transcription patterns of many organisms under a wide range of conditions. Initially, implementation of this high-throughput technology has lead to high expectations for ground breaking discoveries. Here an evaluation is performed of the insight that transcriptome analysis has brought about in the field of hyperthermophilic archaea. The examples that will be discussed have been selected on the basis of their impact, in terms of either biological insight or technological progress.
doi:10.1155/2010/897585
PMCID: PMC3038420  PMID: 21350598
2.  Fidelity in Archaeal Information Processing 
Archaea  2010;2010:960298.
A key element during the flow of genetic information in living systems is fidelity. The accuracy of DNA replication influences the genome size as well as the rate of genome evolution. The large amount of energy invested in gene expression implies that fidelity plays a major role in fitness. On the other hand, an increase in fidelity generally coincides with a decrease in velocity. Hence, an important determinant of the evolution of life has been the establishment of a delicate balance between fidelity and variability. This paper reviews the current knowledge on quality control in archaeal information processing. While the majority of these processes are homologous in Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryotes, examples are provided of nonorthologous factors and processes operating in the archaeal domain. In some instances, evidence for the existence of certain fidelity mechanisms has been provided, but the factors involved still remain to be identified.
doi:10.1155/2010/960298
PMCID: PMC2943090  PMID: 20871851
3.  Improving low-temperature activity of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate aldolase 
Archaea  2009;2(4):233-239.
Sulfolobus acidocaldarius 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate aldolase (SacKdgA) displays optimal activity at 95 °C and is studied as a model enzyme for aldol condensation reactions. For application of SacKdgA at lower temperatures, a library of randomly generated mutants was screened for improved synthesis of 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate from pyruvate and glyceraldehyde at the suboptimal temperature of 50 °C. The single mutant SacKdgA-V193A displayed a threefold increase in activity compared with wild type SacKdgA. The increased specific activity at 40–60 °C of this mutant was observed, not only for the condensation of pyruvate with glyceraldehyde, but also for several unnatural acceptor aldehydes. The optimal temperature for activity of SacKdgA-V193A was lower than for the wild type enzyme, but enzymatic stability of the mutant was similar to that of the wild type, indicating that activity and stability were uncoupled. Valine193 has Van der Waals interactions with Lysine153, which covalently binds the substrate during catalysis. The mutation V193A introduced space close to this essential residue, and the increased activity of the mutant presumably resulted from increased flexibility of Lysine153. The increased activity of SacKdgA-V193A with unaffected stability demonstrates the potential for optimizing extremely thermostable aldolases for synthesis reactions at moderate temperatures.
PMCID: PMC2686391  PMID: 19478916
biocatalysis; directed evolution; enzyme; error-prone PCR; laboratory evolution; thermophile
4.  Molecular analysis of the role of two aromatic aminotransferases and a broad-specificity aspartate aminotransferase in the aromatic amino acid metabolism of Pyrococcus furiosus  
Archaea  2002;1(2):133-141.
The genes encoding aromatic aminotransferase II (AroAT II) and aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT) from Pyrococcus furiosus have been identified, expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant proteins characterized. The AroAT II enzyme was specific for the transamination reaction of the aromatic amino acids, and uses α-ketoglutarate as the amino acceptor. Like the previously characterized AroAT I, AroAT II has highest efficiency for phenylalanine (kcat/Km = 923 s–1 mM–1). Northern blot analyses revealed that AroAT I was mainly expressed when tryptone was the primary carbon and energy source. Although the expression was significantly lower, a similar trend was observed for AroAT II. These observations suggest that both AroATs are involved in amino acid degradation. Although AspAT exhibited highest activity with aspartate and α-ketoglutarate (kcat ~105 s–1), it also showed significant activity with alanine, glutamate and the aromatic amino acids. With aspartate as the amino donor, AspAT catalyzed the amination of α-ketoglutarate, pyruvate and phenylpyruvate. No activity was detected with either branched-chain amino acids or α-keto acids. The AspAT gene (aspC) was expressed as a polycistronic message as part of the aro operon, with expression observed only when the aromatic amino acids were absent from the growth medium, indicating a role in the biosynthesis of the aromatic amino acids.
PMCID: PMC2685563  PMID: 15803651
phenylalanine; phenylpyruvate

Results 1-4 (4)