Travis Johnson

Travis NewDr Travis Johnson

DECRA Research Fellow


My work focuses on understanding the roles and mechanism of action of the Drosophila MACPF protein Torso-like. Unlike many proteins of the MACPF superfamily whose roles are in pathogenesis and immunity, Torso-like is unique in that it is critical for developmental patterning of the early embryo. The identification of Torso-like as a MACPF protein has presented us with a great opportunity to study the functional diversity of the MACPF domain.

Using the powerful genetic model Drosophila, I am incorporating molecular genetics approaches including genome-wide screening for genetic interactions in conjunction with structure/function analyses. The primary goals of my work are to determine how Torso-like functions in Drosophila as well as to identify novel proteins that work in concert with Torso-like. We are confident that the information gained from these experiments will lead us to a greater understanding of MACPF proteins in higher organisms.






Johnson, TK, Henstridge, MA, Herr, A, Moore, KA, Whisstock, JC & Warr, CG (2015). Torso-like mediates extracellular accumulation of Furin-cleaved Trunk to pattern the Drosophila embryo termini. Nature Communications 6, Article number: 8759. doi:10.1038/ncomms9759

Telonis-Scott M, Clemson AS, Johnson TK and Sgro CM (2014) Spatial analysis of gene regulation reveals new insights into the molecular basis of upper thermal limits. Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.13000 Impact factor 6.28

Duncan EJ, Johnson TK, Whisstock JC, Warr CG and Dearden PK (2014) Capturing embryonic development from metamorphosis: how did the terminal patterning signalling pathway of Drosophila evolve? Current Opinion in Insect Science 1: 45-51

Ellisdon AM, Zhang Q, Henstridge MA, Johnson TK, Warr CG, Law RH and Whisstock JC (2014) High resolution structure of cleaved Serpin 42 Da from Drosophila melanogaster. BMC Structural Biology 14: doi: 10.1186/1472-6807-14-14 Impact factor 2.22

Henstridge MA*, Johnson TK*, Warr CG and Whisstock JC (2014) Trunk cleavage is essential for Drosophila terminal patterning and occurs independently of Torso-like. Nature Communications 5 doi:10.1038/ncomms4419. Impact factor 10.015

 Liu Y-C, Pearce MW, Honda T, Johnson TK, Charlu S, Sharma KV, Imad M, Burke RE, Zinsmaier KE, Ray A, Dahanukar A, deBruyne M and Warr CG (2014) The Drosophila phospholipid flippase dATP8B is required for odorant receptor function. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004209. Impact factor 8.52

Telonis-Scott M, van Heerwaarden B, Johnson TK, Hoffmann AA and Sgro CM (2013) New levels of transcriptome complexity at upper thermal limits in wild Drosophila revealed by exon expression analysis. Genetics 195: 809-30 Impact factor: 4.39

Rances E, Johnson TK, Popovici J, Iturbe-Ormaetxe I, Zakir T, Warr CG and O’Neill SL(2013) The Toll and IMD pathways are not required for Wolbachia mediated dengue virus interference. Journal of Virology 87: 11945-9 Impact factor: 5.08

Johnson TK, Crossman T, Foote KA, Bennett MA, Saligari MJ, Forbes Beadle L, Herr A, Whisstock JC and Warr CG (2013) Torso-like functions independently of Torso to regulate Drosophila growth and developmental timing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110: 14688-92 Impact factor: 9.74

Buszard BJ, Johnson TK, Meng T-C, Burke R, Warr CG and Tiganis T (2013) The nucleus- and endoplasmic reticulum-targeted forms of protein tyrosine phosphatase. 61F regulate Drosophila growth, life span, and fecundity. Molecular and Cellular Biology 33: 1345-1356 Impact factor: 6.06

 Johnson TK, Cockerell FE and McKechnie SW (2011) Transcripts from the Drosophila heat-shock gene hsr-omega influence rates of protein synthesis but hardly affect resistance to heat knockdown. Molecular Genetics and Genomics 285: 313-323 Impact factor: 2.58

McKechnie SW, Blacket MJ, Song SV, Rako L, Carroll X, Johnson TK, Jensen LT, Lee SF, Wee CW and Hoffmann AA (2010) A clinally varying promoter polymorphism associated with adaptive variation in wing size in Drosophila. Molecular Ecology 19: 775-784 Impact factor: 5.52

Johnson TK, Cockerell FE, Carrington LB, Rako L, Hoffman AA and McKechnie SW (2009) The capacity of Drosophila to heat harden associates with low rates of heat-shocked protein synthesis. Journal of Thermal Biology 34: 327-331 Impact factor: 1.37

Johnson TK, Carrington LB, Hallas RJ and McKechnie SW (2009) Protein synthesis rates in Drosophila associate with levels of the hsr-omega nuclear transcript. Cell Stress and Chaperones 14: 569-577 Impact factor: 3.01

Collinge JE, Anderson AR, Weeks AR, Johnson TK and McKechnie SW (2008) Latitudinal and cold-tolerance variation associate with DNA repeat-number variation in the hsr-omega RNA gene of Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity 101: 260-270 Impact factor: 4.11

Johnson TK, McKechnie SW and Clancy DJ (2006) Water Balance and Cation Levels in Drosophila: Can Early Physiological Decline Predict Aging and Longevity? Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 61: 146-152 Impact factor: 4.31

*Equal author contributionCorresponding Author


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