Kristen Johansen

Professor: Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (Courtesy Joint Faculty)
Kristen Johansen

Research Description

Recent advances in probing the nucleus have made it clear that nuclear organization is far more complex and ordered than had earlier been appreciated and that it plays a major role in cell function including gene expression and cell division. Our research is directed towards identifying the molecules defining such nuclear organization, as well as the signal transduction pathways regulating cell cycle-specific changes. Using Drosophila as a model system, a combination of molecular and genetic approaches are being used to analyze genes involved in these processes. These studies are done in collaboration with Dr. Jorgen Johansen.


  • Zhang, W., H. Deng, X. Bao, S. Lerach, J. Girton, J. Johansen and K.M. Johansen. 2006. The JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase regulates dimethyl histone H3K9 modifications and heterochromatic spreading in Drosophila. Development 133:229-235.
  • Rath, U., Y. Ding, H. Deng, H. Qi, X. Bao, W. Zhang, J. Girton, J. Johansen, and K.M. Johansen. 2006. The chromodomain protein, Chromator, interacts with JIL-1 kinase and regulates the structure of Drosophila polytene chromosomes. J. Cell Sci 119:2332-2341.
  • Johansen, K.M. and J. Johansen. 2006. Regulation of chromatin structure by histone H3S10 phosphorylation. Chromosome Res 14:393-404..
  • Lerach, S., W. Zhang, X. Bao, H. Deng, J. Girton, J. Johansen and K.M. Johansen. 2006. Loss-of-function alleles of the JIL-1 kinase are strong suppressors of position effect varigation of the wm4 allele in Drosophila. Genetics 173:2403-2406.
  • Lerach, S., W. Zhang, H. Deng, X. Bao, J. Girton, J. Johansen and K.M. Johansen. 2005. The JIL-1 kinase, a member of the MSL complex, is necessary for proper dosage compensation of eye pigmentation in Drosophila. Genesis 43:213-215.
Area of Expertise: 
Regulation of nuclear organization and function
B.A., Biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 1982
Ph.D., Yale University, 1989
3154 Molecular Biology