Nature Publishing Group
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Energy storage compounds play crucial roles in prokaryotic physiology. Five chemical compounds have been identified in prokaryotes as energy reserves: polyphosphate (polyP), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), glycogen, wax ester (WE) and triacylglycerol (TAG). Currently, no systematic study of archaeal energy storage metabolism exists. In this study, we collected 427 archaeal reference sequences from UniProt database. A thorough pathway screening of energy reserves led to an overview of distribution patterns of energy metabolism in archaea. We also explored how energy metabolism might have impact on archaeal extremophilic phenotypes. Based on the systematic analyses of archaeal proteomes, we confirmed that metabolism pathways of polyP, PHAs and glycogen are present in archaea, but TAG and WE are completely absent. It was also confirmed that PHAs are tightly related to halophilic archaea with larger proteome size and higher GC contents, while polyP is mainly present in methanogens. In sum, this study systematically investigates energy storage metabolism in archaea and provides a clear correlation between energy metabolism and the ability to survive in extreme environments. With more genomic editing tools developed for archaea and molecular mechanisms unravelled for energy storage metabolisms (ESMs), there will be a better understanding of the unique lifestyle of archaea in extreme environments. © 2019, The Author(s).
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