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Summary

The relatively complex archaeal RNA polymerases are constructed along eukaryotic lines, and require two initiation factors for promoter recognition and specific transcription that are homologues of the RNA polymerase II TATA-binding protein and TFIIB. Many archaea also produce histones. In contrast, the transcriptional regulators encoded by archaeal genomes are primarily of bacterial rather than eukaryotic type. It is this combination of elements commonly regarded as separate and mutually exclusive that promises unifying insights into basic transcription mechanisms across all three domains of life.