Molecular chaperones are a diverse group of proteins that ensure proteome integrity by helping the proteins fold correctly and maintain their native state, thus preventing their misfolding and subsequent aggregation. The chaperone machinery of archaeal organisms has been thought to closely resemble that found in humans, at least in terms of constituent players. Very few studies have been ventured into system-level analysis of chaperones and their functioning in archaeal cells. In this study, we attempted such an analysis of chaperone-assisted protein folding in archaeal organisms through network approach using Picrophilus torridus as model system. The study revealed that DnaK protein of Hsp70 system acts as hub in protein-protein interaction network. However, DnaK protein was present only in a subset of archaeal organisms and absent from many archaea, especially members of Crenarchaeota phylum. Therefore, a similar network was created for another archaeal organism, Sulfolobus solfataricus, a member of Crenarchaeota. The chaperone network of S. solfataricus suggested that thermosomes played an integral part of hub proteins in archaeal organisms, where DnaK was absent. We further compared the chaperone network of archaea with that found in eukaryotic systems, by creating a similar network for Homo sapiens. In the human chaperone network, the UBC protein, a part of ubiquitination system, was the most important module, and interestingly, this system is known to be absent in archaeal organisms. Comprehensive comparison of these networks leads to several interesting conclusions regarding similarities and differences within archaeal chaperone machinery in comparison to humans.

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Keywords Archaea, Chaperones, Networks, Protein folding, Protein-protein interactions
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Journal Cell Stress and Chaperones
Rani, S. (Shikha), Sharma, A. (Ankush), & Goel, M. (Manisha). (2018). Insights into archaeal chaperone machinery: a network-based approach. Cell Stress and Chaperones. doi:10.1007/s12192-018-0933-y