Tracy Johnson, PhD

Tracy Johnson, PhD

Professor, Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Maria Rowena Ross Chair of Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute



Contact Information

Scientific Interests

Dr. Tracy Johnson's laboratory is focused on understanding the basic mechanisms of gene expression, particularly the molecular events underlying RNA synthesis and processing. Using the unicellular eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model, her lab has leveraged a combination of genetics, biochemical and bioinformatics approaches to understanding how the splicing Òmachinery,Ó the spliceosome, undergoes dynamic rearrangements to recognize and remove the non-coding intron sequences from pre-messenger RNAs. Recently, the Johnson lab has focused on how splice site recognition and the dynamic rearrangements of the spliceosome occur co-transcriptionally, while the RNA polymerase is still actively engaged with the chromatin template and are analyzing the effect that this has on pre-mRNA splicing outcomes. Finally, Johnson's lab is interested in how all eukaryotic cells exploit integrated gene expression mechanisms to respond to their environment. To this end, they are using molecular tools and modeling approaches to understand these elegantly coordinated processes.

Highlighted Publications

Neves LT, Douglass S, Spreafico R, Venkataramanan S, Kress TL, Johnson TL. The histone variant H2A.Z promotes efficient cotranscriptional splicing in S. cerevisiae. Genes Dev. 2017 Apr 1;31(7):702-717. doi: 10.1101/gad.295188.116.

Venkataramanan S, Douglass S, Galivanche AR, Johnson TL. The chromatin remodeling complex Swi/Snf regulates splicing of meiotic transcripts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 May 10. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx373. [Epub ahead of print]

Hossain MA, Claggett JM, Edwards SR, Shi A, Pennebaker SL, Cheng MY, Hasty J, Johnson TL. Posttranscriptional Regulation of Gcr1 Expression and Activity Is Crucial for Metabolic Adjustment in Response to Glucose Availability. Mol Cell. 2016 May 5;62(3):346-58. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.04.012.

Johnson TL, Ares M Jr. SMITten by the Speed of Splicing. Cell. 2016 Apr 7;165(2):265-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.03.035.

Davis-Turak JC, Allison K, Shokhirev MN, Ponomarenko P, Tsimring LS, Glass CK, Johnson TL, Hoffmann A. Considering the kinetics of mRNA synthesis in the analysis of the genome and epigenome reveals determinants of co-transcriptional splicing. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jan;43(2):699-707. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku1338. Epub 2014 Dec 24.