Go to: content | top | bottom | search
You are hereUNIL > Department of Biochemistry > Research > Martinon Fabio

Martinon Fabio, Assistant Professor



Fabio Martinon received his PhD in 2003 from the University of Lausanne for his work on the characterization of the Inflammasome in the laboratory of Jürg Tschopp. After a short post-doctoral fellowship in Jürg Tschopp’s laboratory, he moved in 2006 to the laboratory of Laurie Glimcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he investigated the link between inflammatory programs and the endoplasmic reticulum stress response. In August 2010 he joined the Department of Biochemistry as Assistant Professor. His current research focuses on the characterization of signaling pathways emerging from the endoplasmic reticulum.

Research interests

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) serves many general functions, including the facilitation of protein folding and the transport of synthesized proteins, but it also has an important role in sensing cellular stress. ER-stress identifies a group of signals that induce a transcriptional program enabling cells to survive protein overload and injury in the ER. This highly coordinated response involves three parallel signaling branches localized at the ER, namely IRE1, ATF6 and PERK.

New findings suggest that these signaling pathways can initiate inflammation and, in specialized cells and tissues, may be involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and infectious diseases. However, this is an emerging field of research and little is known on the specific nature of these signaling pathways and their function in regulating immunity. We recently found that TLR4 and TLR2 specifically activate the ER-stress sensor kinase IRE1 and its downstream target, the transcription factor XBP1. Previously described XBP1 ER stress target genes are not induced by TLR signaling. Instead, TLR-activated XBP1 is required for optimal and sustained production of proinflammatory cytokines in macrophages. Consistent with this finding, IRE1 activation by ER-stress synergizes with TLR activation for cytokine production. Moreover, XBP1 deficiency markedly increases bacterial burden in animals infected with the TLR2-activating human pathogen Francisella tularensis.

These findings uncovered an unsuspected critical new function for the XBP1 transcription factor in mammalian host defenses. The knowledge gained from these studies will provide a better understanding of regulatory pathways controlling immune responses and will aid in the development of therapies aimed at improving the outcome of diseases characterized by inflammation and ER-stress.


In press |  2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2013 |  2012 |  2011 |  2010 |  2009 |  2008 |  2007 |  2006 |  2005 |  2004 |  2003 |  2002 |  2001 |  2000 |  1999 |  1998 |  Thèses (doctorat) | 

In Press
De Gassart A., Demaria O., Panes R., Zaffalon L., Ryazanov A.G., Gilliet M., Martinon F., In Press. Pharmacological eEF2K activation promotes cell death and inhibits cancer progression. Embo Reports . [DOI] [Pubmed]
De Gassart A., Bujisic B., Zaffalon L., Decosterd L.A., Di Micco A., Frera G., Tallant R., Martinon F., 2016. An inhibitor of HIV-1 protease modulates constitutive eIF2α dephosphorylation to trigger a specific integrated stress response. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(2) pp. E117-E126. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Di Micco A., Frera G., Lugrin J., Jamilloux Y., Hsu E.T., Tardivel A., De Gassart A., Zaffalon L., Bujisic B., Siegert S. et al., 2016. AIM2 inflammasome is activated by pharmacological disruption of nuclear envelope integrity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(32) pp. E4671-E4680. [DOI] [Pubmed]
Jamilloux Y., Martinon F., 2016. Cell-Free Assay for Inflammasome Activation. Methods in Molecular Biology 1417 pp. 207-215. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martin R., Thome M., Martinon F., Fasel N., 2016. Raptor hunted by caspases. Cell Death and Disease 7(6) pp. e2242. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
de Gassart A., Martinon F., 2015. Pyroptosis: Caspase-11 Unlocks the Gates of Death. Immunity 43(5) pp. 835-837. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Demaria O., De Gassart A., Coso S., Gestermann N., Di Domizio J., Flatz L., Gaide O., Michielin O., Hwu P., Petrova T.V. et al., 2015. STING activation of tumor endothelial cells initiates spontaneous and therapeutic antitumor immunity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(50) pp. 15408-15413. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Ives A., Nomura J., Martinon F., Roger T., LeRoy D., Miner J.N., Simon G., Busso N., So A., 2015. Xanthine oxidoreductase regulates macrophage IL1β secretion upon NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Nature Communications 6 p. 6555. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Jamilloux Y., Gerfaud-Valentin M., Martinon F., Belot A., Henry T., Sève P., 2015. Pathogenesis of adult-onset Still's disease: new insights from the juvenile counterpart. Immunologic Research 61(1-2) pp. 53-62. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Aksentijevich I., 2015. New players driving inflammation in monogenic autoinflammatory diseases. Nature Reviews. Rheumatology 11(1) pp. 11-20. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2014. L'inflammation. pp. 175-181 in Cramer P. (eds.) Le défi des maladies infectieuses. Docis, Paris.
Hu Z., Yan C., Liu P., Huang Z., Ma R., Zhang C., Wang R., Zhang Y., Martinon F., Miao D. et al., 2013. Crystal structure of NLRC4 reveals its autoinhibition mechanism. Science 341(6142) pp. 172-175. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., van der Goot F.G., 2013. Did cholera toxin finally get caught? Cell Host and Microbe 13(5) pp. 501-503. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2012. Targeting endoplasmic reticulum signaling pathways in cancer. Acta Oncologica 51(7) pp. 822-830. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2012. The endoplasmic reticulum: a sensor of cellular stress that modulates immune responses. Microbes and Infection 14(14) pp. 1293-1300. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Couillin I., Pétrilli V., Martinon F. (eds.) 2011. The inflammasomes. Progress in Inflammation Research . 224 p., Springer. [DOI]
Glimcher L.H., Martinon F., Modlin R.L., 2011. Innate immunity. Current Opinion in Immunology 23(1) pp. 1-2. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Hetz C., Martinon F., Rodriguez D., Glimcher L.H., 2011. The unfolded protein response: integrating stress signals through the stress sensor IRE1α. Physiological Reviews 91(4) pp. 1219-1243. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Glimcher L.H., 2011. Regulation of innate immunity by signaling pathways emerging from the endoplasmic reticulum. Current Opinion in Immunology 23(1) pp. 35-40. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Pétrilli V., Martinon F., 2011. Molecular definition of inflammasomes. pp. 1-16 in Couillin I., Pétrilli V., Martinon F. (eds.) The inflammasomes. Progress in Inflammation Research . Springer, Basel. [DOI]
Martinon F., 2010. Mechanisms of uric acid crystal-mediated autoinflammation. Immunological Reviews 233(1) pp. 218-232. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2010. Signaling by ROS drives inflammasome activation. European Journal of Immunology 40(3) pp. 616-619. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2010. Update on biology: uric acid and the activation of immune and inflammatory cells. Current Rheumatology Reports 12(2) pp. 135-141. [DOI] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Chen X., Lee A.H., Glimcher L.H., 2010. TLR activation of the transcription factor XBP1 regulates innate immune responses in macrophages. Nature Immunology 11(5) pp. 411-418. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Lisbona F., Rojas-Rivera D., Thielen P., Zamorano S., Todd D., Martinon F., Glavic A., Kress C., Lin J.H., Walter P. et al., 2009. BAX inhibitor-1 is a negative regulator of the ER stress sensor IRE1alpha. Molecular Cell 33(6) pp. 679-691. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Mayor A., Tschopp J., 2009. The inflammasomes: guardians of the body. Annual Review of Immunology 27 pp. 229-265. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Lazarevic V., Martinon F., 2008. Linking inflammasome activation and phagosome maturation. Cell Host and Microbe 3(4) pp. 199-200. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2008. Detection of immune danger signals by NALP3. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 83(3) pp. 507-511. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Garner E., Martinon F., Tschopp J., Beard P., Raj K., 2007. Cells with defective p53-p21-pRb pathway are susceptible to apoptosis induced by p84N5 via caspase-6. Cancer Research 67(16) pp. 7631-7637. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Kummer J.A., Broekhuizen R., Everett H., Agostini L., Kuijk L., Martinon F., van Bruggen R., Tschopp J., 2007. Inflammasome components NALP 1 and 3 show distinct but separate expression profiles in human tissues suggesting a site-specific role in the inflammatory response. Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 55(5) pp. 443-452. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., 2007. Orchestration of pathogen recognition by inflammasome diversity: Variations on a common theme. European Journal of Immunology 37(11) pp. 3003-3006. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Gaide O., Pétrilli V., Mayor A., Tschopp J., 2007. NALP inflammasomes: a central role in innate immunity. Seminars in Immunopathology 29(3) pp. 213-229. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Tschopp J., 2007. Inflammatory caspases and inflammasomes: master switches of inflammation. Cell Death and Differentiation 14(1) pp. 10-22. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Mayor A., Martinon F., De Smedt T., Pétrilli V., Tschopp J., 2007. A crucial function of SGT1 and HSP90 in inflammasome activity links mammalian and plant innate immune responses. Nature Immunology 8(5) pp. 497-503. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Papin S., Cuenin S., Agostini L., Martinon F., Werner S., Beer H.D., Grütter C., Grütter M., Tschopp J., 2007. The SPRY domain of Pyrin, mutated in familial Mediterranean fever patients, interacts with inflammasome components and inhibits proIL-1beta processing. Cell Death and Differentiation 14(8) pp. 1457-1466. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Pétrilli V., Martinon F., 2007. The inflammasome, autoinflammatory diseases, and gout. Joint, Bone, Spine 74(6) pp. 571-576. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Pétrilli V., Papin S., Dostert C., Mayor A., Martinon F., Tschopp J., 2007. Activation of the NALP3 inflammasome is triggered by low intracellular potassium concentration. Cell Death and Differentiation 14(9) pp. 1583-1589. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Watanabe H., Gaide O., Pétrilli V., Martinon F., Contassot E., Roques S., Kummer J.A., Tschopp J., French L.E., 2007. Activation of the IL-1beta-processing inflammasome is involved in contact hypersensitivity. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 127(8) pp. 1956-1963. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Brissoni B., Agostini L., Kropf M., Martinon F., Swoboda V., Lippens S., Everett H., Aebi N., Janssens S., Meylan E. et al., 2006. Intracellular trafficking of interleukin-1 receptor I requires Tollip. Current Biology 16(22) pp. 2265-2270. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Loeuillet C., Martinon F., Perez C., Munoz M., Thome M., Meylan P.R., 2006. Mycobacterium tuberculosis subverts innate immunity to evade specific effectors. Journal of Immunology 177(9) pp. 6245-6255. [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Glimcher L.H., 2006. Gout: new insights into an old disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation 116(8) pp. 2073-2075. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Pétrilli V., Mayor A., Tardivel A., Tschopp J., 2006. Gout-associated uric acid crystals activate the NALP3 inflammasome. Nature 440(7081) pp. 237-241. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Tschopp J., 2005. NLRs join TLRs as innate sensors of pathogens. Trends in Immunology 26(8) pp. 447-454. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Agostini L., Martinon F., Burns K., McDermott M.F., Hawkins P.N., Tschopp J., 2004. NALP3 forms an IL-1beta-processing inflammasome with increased activity in Muckle-Wells autoinflammatory disorder. Immunity 20(3) pp. 319-325. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Burns K.A., Martinon F., 2004. Inflammatory diseases: is ubiquitinated NEMO at the hub? Current Biology 14(24) pp. R1040-R1042. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Agostini L., Meylan E., Tschopp J., 2004. Identification of bacterial muramyl dipeptide as activator of the NALP3/cryopyrin inflammasome. Current Biology 14(21) pp. 1929-1934. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Meylan E., Burns K., Hofmann K., Blancheteau V., Martinon F., Kelliher M., Tschopp J., 2004. RIP1 is an essential mediator of Toll-like receptor 3-induced NF-kappa B activation. Nature Immunology 5(5) pp. 503-507. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Burns K., Martinon F., Tschopp J., 2003. New insights into the mechanism of IL-1beta maturation. Current Opinion in Immunology 15(1) pp. 26-30. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Holler N., Tardivel A., Kovacsovics-Bankowski M., Hertig S., Gaide O., Martinon F., Tinel A., Deperthes D., Calderara S., Schulthess T. et al., 2003. Two adjacent trimeric Fas ligands are required for Fas signaling and formation of a death-inducing signaling complex. Molecular and Cellular Biology 23(4) pp. 1428-1440. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Tschopp J., Martinon F., Burns K., 2003. NALPs: a novel protein family involved in inflammation. Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology 4(2) pp. 95-104. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Aganna E., Martinon F., Hawkins P.N., Ross J.B., Swan D.C., Booth D.R., Lachmann H.J., Bybee A., Gaudet R., Woo P. et al., 2002. Association of mutations in the NALP3/CIAS1/PYPAF1 gene with a broad phenotype including recurrent fever, cold sensitivity, sensorineural deafness, and AA amyloidosis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 46(9) pp. 2445-2452. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Kovacsovics M., Martinon F., Micheau O., Bodmer J.L., Hofmann K., Tschopp J., 2002. Overexpression of Helicard, a CARD-containing helicase cleaved during apoptosis, accelerates DNA degradation. Current Biology 12(10) pp. 838-843. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Meylan E., Martinon F., Thome M., Gschwendt M., Tschopp J., 2002. RIP4 (DIK/PKK), a novel member of the RIP kinase family, activates NF-kappa B and is processed during apoptosis. EMBO Reports 3(12) pp. 1201-1208. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Benedict C.A., Norris P.S., Prigozy T.I., Bodmer J.L., Mahr J.A., Garnett C.T., Martinon F., Tschopp J., Gooding L.R., Ware C.F., 2001. Three adenovirus E3 proteins cooperate to evade apoptosis by tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor-1 and -2. Journal of Biological Chemistry 276(5) pp. 3270-3278. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Gaide O., Martinon F., Micheau O., Bonnet D., Thome M., Tschopp J., 2001. Carma1, a CARD-containing binding partner of Bcl10, induces Bcl10 phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activation. FEBS Letters 496(2-3) pp. 121-127. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Kataoka T., Holler N., Micheau O., Martinon F., Tinel A., Hofmann K., Tschopp J., 2001. Bcl-rambo, a novel Bcl-2 homologue that induces apoptosis via its unique C-terminal extension. Journal of Biological Chemistry 276(22) pp. 19548-19554. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Martinon F., Hofmann K., Tschopp J., 2001. The pyrin domain: a possible member of the death domain-fold family implicated in apoptosis and inflammation. Current Biology 11(4) pp. R118-R120. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Thome M., Gaide O., Micheau O., Martinon F., Bonnet D., Gonzalez M., Tschopp J., 2001. Equine herpesvirus protein E10 induces membrane recruitment and phosphorylation of its cellular homologue, bcl-10. Journal of Cell Biology 152(5) pp. 1115-1122. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Burns K., Clatworthy J., Martin L., Martinon F., Plumpton C., Maschera B., Lewis A., Ray K., Tschopp J., Volpe F., 2000. Tollip, a new component of the IL-1RI pathway, links IRAK to the IL-1 receptor. Nature Cell Biology 2(6) pp. 346-351. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Kataoka T., Budd R.C., Holler N., Thome M., Martinon F., Irmler M., Burns K., Hahne M., Kennedy N., Kovacsovics M. et al., 2000. The caspase-8 inhibitor FLIP promotes activation of NF-kappaB and Erk signaling pathways. Current Biology 10(11) pp. 640-648. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Penna D., Müller S., Martinon F., Demotz S., Iwashima M., Valitutti S., 1999. Degradation of ZAP-70 following antigenic stimulation in human T lymphocytes: role of calpain proteolytic pathway. Journal of Immunology 163(1) pp. 50-56. [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Thome M., Martinon F., Hofmann K., Rubio V., Steiner V., Schneider P., Mattmann C., Tschopp J., 1999. Equine herpesvirus-2 E10 gene product, but not its cellular homologue, activates NF-kappaB transcription factor and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 274(15) pp. 9962-9968. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Tschopp J., Martinon F., Hofmann K., 1999. Apoptosis: Silencing the death receptors. Current Biology 9(10) pp. R381-R384. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Burns K., Martinon F., Esslinger C., Pahl H., Schneider P., Bodmer J.L., Di Marco F., French L., Tschopp J., 1998. MyD88, an adapter protein involved in interleukin-1 signaling. Journal of Biological Chemistry 273(20) pp. 12203-12209. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Thome M., Hofmann K., Burns K., Martinon F., Bodmer J.L., Mattmann C., Tschopp J., 1998. Identification of CARDIAK, a RIP-like kinase that associates with caspase-1. Current Biology 8(15) pp. 885-888. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Phd thesis
Frera G., 2015. Characterization of the HIV protease inhibitor Nelfinavir cellular targets. 177 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Martinon F., Thome M. (dir.).
Di Micco A., 2014. Modulation of inflammatory pathways by the HIV protease inhibitors. 108 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Martinon F. (dir.).
Martinon F., 2003. Characterisation of proteins implicated in apoptosis. Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, (dir.).
Person Position Contact
Bojan Bujisic Ph.D student Unisciences
Aude de Gassart Postdoctoral fellow Unisciences
Jérôme Lugrin Postdoctoral fellow Unisciences
Rémy Tallant Ph.D student Unisciences
Léa Zaffalon Technician Unisciences


Benoît Allaz Trainee
Yvan Jamilloux Visiting Ph.D student
Antonia Di Micco Ph.D student
Emma Proïcs Erasmus student
Rébecca Panes Premaster student 2013
Marianne Ethenoz Technician
Einar Castillo Technician
Zaiyue Shu Student SUR Programme 2013 Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Patricia Renck Nunes Premaster student 2012 UNIL
Nicoletta Corti Premaster student 2012 UNIL
Malak Benslimane Student SUR Programme 2012 Univ. of Wisconsin at Madison
Basiglio Giangreco Premaster student 2011 UNIL




Fabio Martinon


Tel: + 41 21 692 5695

Chemin des Boveresses 155 - CH-1066 Epalinges  - Switzerland  -  Tel. +41 21 692 5700  -  Fax +41 21 692 5705
Swiss University