England's World Cup-winning captain, who will be 34 in March, has called time on an illustrious 10-year Test career.
Johnson confirmed his widely-anticipated decision during Leicester's Heineken Cup game against Ulster at Welford Road.
He said in a statement: "This has not been an easy decision to make [but] after talking to my family and friends, and after a lot of thought, I have decided to retire from international rugby with immediate effect.
"It has been a privilege to play for England, alongside some great players and with a great coaching staff.
"It has, of course, been a massive honour for me to captain my country.
"There have been many highlights - the Grand Slam, winning the World Cup - but most of all, I will remember the moments together as a squad, just before and just after matches, in the changing room.
"I would like to thank Clive (Woodward) and the other coaches who have worked with me since I made my debut, the guys I have played with and the fans who have followed us around the world."
Johnson won 84 caps, putting him third on England's all-time list behind Jason Leonard and Rory Underwood, and led his country 39 times, including the World Cup final triumph against Australia in Sydney two months ago and an RBS 6 Nations Championship Grand Slam last year.
He is also the only man to captain two Lions tours, inspiring a 1997 Test series triumph in South Africa and being at the helm in Australia four years later.