Post-translation modification in Archaea: lessons from Haloferax volcanii and other haloarchaea


Correspondence: Jerry Eichler, Department of Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University, Beersheva 84105, Israel. Tel.:+972 8646 1343; fax: +972 8647 9175;e-mail:


As an ever-growing number of genome sequences appear, it is becoming increasingly clear that factors other than genome sequence impart complexity to the proteome. Of the various sources of proteomic variability, post-translational modifications (PTMs) most greatly serve to expand the variety of proteins found in the cell. Likewise, modulating the rates at which different proteins are degraded also results in a constantly changing cellular protein profile. While both strategies for generating proteomic diversity are adopted by organisms across evolution, the responsible pathways and enzymes in Archaea are often less well described than are their eukaryotic and bacterial counterparts. Studies on halophilic archaea, in particular Haloferax volcanii, originally isolated from the Dead Sea, are helping to fill the void. In this review, recent developments concerning PTMs and protein degradation in the haloarchaea are discussed.