Michael Johnson

Assistant Professor

Michael D. L. Johnson received his bachelors from Duke University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied the effects of calcium on bacterial motility and attachment under the mentorship of Matthew Redinbo. For his postdoctoral training, Michael Johnson went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in order to work with Jason Rosch on metal homeostasis of Streptococcus pneumoniae and subsequently with Douglas Green on the mechanisms of LC3-associated phagocytosis. Michael Johnson joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 2016.

Research Interests: 

Metals serve as vital nutrients to all biological systems. During infections, bacteria must not only acquire all metals necessary for survival from within the host, such as calcium or manganese, but must also efflux metals that are toxic or in excess such as copper. The overall goal of my laboratory is to investigate how bacteria maintain homeostasis within the metal milieu. This goal involves determining how metals are processed, the orchestrated response during metal sensing, and the role that the host plays in this process during infection. Understanding how bacteria interact with metals during infections will identify novel therapeutic strategies against bacterial infections.

Degrees
  • AB: Duke University
  • PhD: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Fellowship
  • Post-doctoral Fellow: St. Jude Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN

Recent Publications

2015

Johnson, M. D. L., T. E. Kehl-Fie, R. Klein, J. Kelly, C. Burnham, B. Mann, and J. W. Rosch, "Role of copper efflux in pneumococcal pathogenesis and resistance to macrophage-mediated immune clearance.", Infect Immun, vol. 83, issue 4, pp. 1684-94, 2015 Apr. PMCID: PMC4363445  PMID: 25667262
Johnson, M. D. L., H. Echlin, T. H. Dao, and J. W. Rosch, "Characterization of NAD salvage pathways and their role in virulence in Streptococcus pneumoniae.", Microbiology, vol. 161, issue 11, pp. 2127-36, 2015 Nov. PMID: 26311256
Johnson, M. D. L., T. E. Kehl-Fie, and J. W. Rosch, "Copper intoxication inhibits aerobic nucleotide synthesis in Streptococcus pneumoniae.", Metallomics, vol. 7, issue 5, pp. 786-94, 2015 May. PMCID: PMC4431907  PMID: 25730343

2013

Honsa, E. S., M. D. L. Johnson, and J. W. Rosch, "The roles of transition metals in the physiology and pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae.", Front Cell Infect Microbiol, vol. 3, pp. 92, 2013. PMCID: PMC3849628  PMID: 24364001
Cheng, Y., M. D. L. Johnson, C. Burillo-Kirch, J. C. Mocny, J. E. Anderson, C. K. Garrett, M. R. Redinbo, and C. E. Thomas, "Mutation of the conserved calcium-binding motif in Neisseria gonorrhoeae PilC1 impacts adhesion but not piliation.", Infect Immun, vol. 81, issue 11, pp. 4280-9, 2013 Nov. PMCID: PMC3811810  PMID: 24002068
Porsch, E. A., M. D. L. Johnson, A. D. Broadnax, C. K. Garrett, M. R. Redinbo, and J. W. St Geme, "Calcium binding properties of the Kingella kingae PilC1 and PilC2 proteins have differential effects on type IV pilus-mediated adherence and twitching motility.", J Bacteriol, vol. 195, issue 4, pp. 886-95, 2013 Feb. PMCID: PMC3562114  PMID: 23243304

2011

Johnson, M. D. L., C. K. Garrett, J. E. Bond, K. A. Coggan, M. C. Wolfgang, and M. R. Redinbo, "Pseudomonas aeruginosa PilY1 binds integrin in an RGD- and calcium-dependent manner.", PLoS One, vol. 6, issue 12, pp. e29629, 2011. PMCID: PMC3248442  PMID: 22242136

2010

Orans, J., M. D. L. Johnson, K. A. Coggan, J. R. Sperlazza, R. W. Heiniger, M. C. Wolfgang, and M. R. Redinbo, "Crystal structure analysis reveals Pseudomonas PilY1 as an essential calcium-dependent regulator of bacterial surface motility.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 107, issue 3, pp. 1065-70, 2010 Jan 19. PMCID: PMC2824316  PMID: 20080557