Investigation into archaeal extremophilic lifestyles through comparative proteogenomic analysis


Archaea are a group of primary life forms on Earth and could thrive in many unique environments. Their successful colonization of extreme niches requires corresponding adaptations at proteogenomic level in order to maintain stable cellular structures and active physiological functions. Although some studies have already investigated the extremophilic lifestyles of archaeal species based on genomic features and protein structures, there is a lack of comparative proteogenomic analysis in a large scale. In this study, we explored 686 high-quality archaeal genomes (proteomes) sourced from the Pathosystems Resource Integration Center (PATRIC) database. General patterns of genomic features such as genome size, coding capacity (coding genes and non-coding regions), and G + C contents were re-confirmed. Protein domain distribution patterns were then identified across archaeal species. Domains with unknown functions (DUFs) and mini proteins were investigated in terms of their distributions due to their importance in archaeal physiological functions. In addition, physicochemical properties of protein sequences, such as stability, hydrophobicity, isoelectric point, aromaticity and amino acid compositions in corresponding archaeal groups were compared. Unique features associated with extremophilic lifestyles were observed, which suggested that evolutionary adaptations to different extreme environments had intrinsic impacts on archaeal protein features. Taken together, this systematic study facilitates a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the extremophilic lifestyles of archaeal species, which will further contribute to the evolutionary explorations of archaeal adaptations both experimentally and theoretically in the future studies.

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