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Actual position and research subject

Helene Martin-Yken is a senior scientist from the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) at the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI). Specialist of Fungal Morphogenesis and Cell Wall Synthesis, she now uses knowledge of cell signalling cascades to design new biosensors based on yeast cells, able to detect external toxins as well as internally produces bioactive molecules. Currently member of the Molecular and Metabolic Engineering team at TBI, she is also hosted researcher at LAAS CNRS laboratory in Toulouse. Her current projects are related to the biosynthesis of carotenoids and derived molecules of industrial or pharmaceutical interest in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Education and Diploma

  • Engineer Diploma, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department (1rst of promotion)
  • PhD Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • Habilitation to Direct Research, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2011. Habilitation à diriger des recherches : Hélène Martin-Yken. Morphogenetic control of cell wall synthesis in budding yeast (2011).


  • Supervised or co-supervised: 4 PhD students and 3 post-doct
  • Stays as a visiting scientist:
    • Post Johns Hopkins University, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Baltimore, United States (1999 – 2000)
    • Institut Louis Malardé Papeete French Polynesia (2018_2020)

List of selected publications

  • Hélène Martin-Yken and Christophe Furger (2021) Cell- and Tissue-Containing Biosensors
  • Encyclopedia of Sensors and Biosensors, Chapter 29, Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences, Elsevier,
  • Mireille Chinain, Clémence Gatti, Hélène Martin-Yken, Mélanie Roué, Hélène Taiana Darius (2021). Ciguatera poisoning: an increasing burden for Pacific islands communities in light of climate change? Ed. Pr. Luis Botana. Climate Change and marine and freshwater toxins, 2nd edition.
  • Hélène Martin-Yken (2020). Yeast-Based Biosensors: Current Applications and New Developments. Biosensors,
  • Hélène Martin-Yken, Tina Bedekovic, Alexandra Brand, Mathias Richard, Sadri Znaidi, Christophe d’Enfert, Etienne Dague (2018). A conserved fungal hub protein involved in adhesion and drug resistance in the human pathogen Candida albicans. The Cell Surface, 4 10-19,
  • Cécile Formosa-Dague, Mickaël Castelain, Hélène Martin-Yken, Karen Dunker, Etienne Dague, Marit Sletmoen (2018). The Role of Glycans in Bacterial Adhesion to Mucosal Surfaces: How Can Single-Molecule Techniques Advance Our Understanding? Microorganisms, 6 (2), 26 p., UNSP 39,
  • Helene Martin-Yken, Camille Gironde, Sylvain Derick, Hélène Taiana Darius, Christophe Furger, Dominique Laurent, Mireille Chinain (2018). Ciguatoxins activate the Calcineurin signalling pathway in Yeasts: Potential for development of an alternative detection tool? Environmental Research, 162 144-151,
  • Hélène Martin-Yken, Jean Marie François, Didier Zerbib (2016). Knr4: a disordered hub protein at the heart of fungal cell wall signalling. Cellular Microbiology, 18 (9), 1217 – 1227,
  • Marion Schiavone, Cécile Formosa-Dague, Carolina Elsztein, Marie-Ange Teste, Helene Martin-Yken, Marcos de Morais, Etienne Dague, Jean François (2016). Evidence for a Role for the Plasma Membrane in the Nanomechanical Properties of the Cell Wall as Revealed by an Atomic Force Microscopy Study of the Response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Ethanol Stress. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82 (15), 4789 – 4801,
  • Iuliana V. Ene, Louise Brown, Marion Schiavone, Keunsook Lee, Hélène Martin-Yken, Etienne Dague, Neil Gow, Carol Munro, Alistair Brown (2015). Cell Wall Remodeling Enzymes Modulate Fungal Cell Wall Elasticity and Osmotic Stress Resistance. mBio, 6 (4), e00986-15,
  • Jian Liu, Hélène Martin-Yken, Frédéric Bigey, Sylvie Dequin, Jean-Marie François, Jean-Pascal Capp (2015). Natural Yeast Promoter Variants Reveal Epistasis in the Generation of Transcriptional-Mediated Noise and Its Potential Benefit in Stressful Conditions. Genome Biology and Evolution, 7 (4), 969-984,
  • Cécile Formosa-Dague, V. Lachaize, C Galés, M P Rols, Hélène Martin-Yken, Jean-Marie François, R E Duval, Etienne Dague (2015). Mapping HA-tagged protein at the surface of living cells by atomic force microscopy. Journal of Molecular Recognition, 28 (1), 1-9,
  • Vitor Cabral, Sadri Znaidi, Louise Walker, Hélène Martin-Yken, Etienne Dague, Mélanie Legrand, Keunsook Lee, Murielle Chauvel, Arnaud Firon, Tristan Rossignol, Mathias Richard, Carol Munro, Sophie Bachellier-Bassi, Christophe d’Enfert (2014). Targeted Changes of the Cell Wall Proteome Influence Candida albicans Ability to Form Single- and Multi-strain Biofilms. PLoS Pathogens, 10 (12), e1004542,
  • Marion Schiavone, Amélie Vax, Cécile Formosa, Hélène Martin-Yken, Etienne Dague, Jean-Marie François (2014). A combined chemical and enzymatic method to determine quantitatively the polysaccharide components in the cell wall of yeasts. FEMS Yeast Research, 14 (6), 933 – 947,
  • Thomas Walther, Fabien Létisse, Lindsay Peyriga, Ceren Alkim, Yuchen Liu, Aurélie Lardenois, Hélène Martin-Yken, Jean-Charles Portais, Michael Primig, Jean Marie François (2014). Developmental stage-dependent metabolic regulation during meiotic differentiation in budding yeast. BMC Microbiology, 139 297, 60,
  • Flavien Pillet, Stéphane Lemonier, Marion Schiavone, Cécile Formosa, Hélène Martin-Yken, Jean-Marie François, Etienne Dague (2014). Uncovering by Atomic Force Microscopy of an original circular structure at the yeast cell surface in response to heat shock. BMC Biology, 12 (6), 20p.,
  • Cécile Formosa-Dague, Marion Schiavone, Hélène Martin-Yken, J.M. François, Raphael Duval, Etienne Dague (2013). Nanoscale Effects of Caspofungin against Two Yeast Species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 57 (8), 3498 – 3506,
  • Adilya Timmers Dagkessamanskaya, Karim El Azzouzi, Yo Kikuchi, Ton Timmers, Yoshikazu Ohya, Jean-Marie Francois, Hélène Martin-Yken (2010). Knr4 N-terminal domain controls its localization and function during sexual differentiation and vegetative growth. Yeast, 27 (8), 563 – 574,
  • Adilya Timmers Dagkessamanskaya, Fabien Durand, Vladimir N. Uversky, Matteo Binda, Frédéric Lopez, Karim El Azzouzi, Jean-Marie Francois, Hélène Martin-Yken (2010). Functional dissection of an intrinsically disordered protein: Understanding the roles of different domains of Knr4 protein in protein-protein interactions. Protein Science, 19 (7), 1376 – 1385,
  • Etienne Dague, Rajaa Bitar, Hubert Ranchon, Fabien Durand, Hélène Martin-Yken, Jean François (2010). An atomic force microscopy analysis of yeast mutants defective in cell wall architecture. Yeast, 27 (8), 673-684,
  • Hélène Martin-Yken, Adilia Dagkessamanskaia, Fadi Basmaji, Arnaud Lagorce, Jean Francois (2003). The interaction of Slt2 MAP kinase with Knr4 is necessary for signalling through the cell wall integrity pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Molecular Microbiology, 49 (1), 23-35,
  • Arnaud Lagorce, Nicole C. Hauser, Delphine Labourdette, Cristina Rodríguez, Hélène Martin-Yken, Javier Arroyo, Jörge D. Hobeisel, Jean François (2003). Genome-wide analysis of the response to cell wall mutations in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278 (22), 20345-20357,
  • Hélène Martin-Yken, Adilia Dagkessamanskaia, Galina Satchanska, Nathalie Dallies, Jean François (1999). KNR4, a suppressor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cwh mutants, is involved in the transcriptional control of chitin synthase genes. Microbiology, 145 (1), 249-258,


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