Dr Maryse Bailly


Personal Profile

Name: Maryse Bailly Email: m.bailly@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 020 7608 6825
Department: Inst Ophthalmology - Cell Biology Fax: 020 7608 4034
Position: Reader in Cell Biology Address: 11-43 Bath Street London, , London, EC1V 9EL
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Biomedical Imaging (Frontier Disciplines), Cancer, Personalised Medicine Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

My group uses a range of cellular models to study physiological and pathological cell behaviour regulated by actin dynamics in the context of tissue contraction and scarring. The common long-term goal of these studies is to identify basic molecular mechanisms to uncover new specific targets to modulate scarring and fibrosis in a range of diseases as well as within cell repair and regeneration processes. The lab most recent interests broadly fall under two areas: 

1) Mechanisms of fibroblast-mediated contraction in wound healing and fibrosis:
Tissue contraction and scarring processes play a part in the pathogenesis or failure of treatment of virtually every major blinding disease, and are also a major cause of morbidity in the whole human body.  Yet, very little is know about the molecular mechanisms involved and there are no treatment available for ocular scarring besides toxic anti-cancer drugs with limited use. My group has developed over the last 10 years in vitro and ex vivo models that allow the study tissue contraction mechanisms within pseudo-physiological 3D “tissue-like” environments. Focusing on ocular diseases, the group has used these models to characterise the biology of the contraction process and the molecular pathways underlying conjunctiva contraction, identifying novel targets such as the Rac1 small GTPase to develop promising anti-scarring agents. More recently we have extended this work to specific eye diseases with a major fibrotic component such as Floppy Eye Lid Syndrome (FES), Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) and recurrent trachomatous trichiasis (TT), where the disease mechanisms are unknown and no good treatment is available.  These studies have identified a specific molecular signature underlying the fibrotic disease phenotype, and demonstrated that the diseased cells display specific alterations in their mechanical properties that underlie they ability to contract tissues and promote scarring.

2) Tensional homeostasis, mechanical stress and modulation of the SRF/MRTF-A pathway in fibrosis:
Mechanical sensing is a fundamental process that regulates essential cellular features such as shape, motility, proliferation or differentiation. Deregulation of the tissue tensional homeostasis in stromal cells is at the basis of most stress-induced pathological remodelling, such as cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis and scarring. We have recently identified Myocardin-Related Transcription Factor-A (MRTF-A), the major co-activator for the Serum Response Factor (SRF) transcription factor, as a biosensor for tensional homeostasis in cells. Our goal is now to identify the mechanisms by which cells measure their internal tension and what actually determines the intrinsic tensional homeostasis level in individual cells, and the role of the MRTF-A/SRF pathway in the process.

Research Activities

Blinding diseases (genetics and mechanisms)

Tissue repair and cytoskeletal function

Education Description

I teach a number of lectures at UCL, broadly around cytoskeleton, models and imaging.

ANAT3050- Actin cytoskeleton and Intermediate Filaments
CELL2006- CELL2008: Models organisms and techniques
MSc Biology of Vision- Ocular Cell Biology: Cytoskeleton and Models

UCL Collaborators

Prof Alison Hardcastle; Prof Mike Cheetham; Professor Sir Peng Khaw; Prof Philip Beales; Prof Andrew Forge; Prof Tony Moore; Prof Steve Wilson; Prof Andrew Webster; Prof Susan Povey

External Collaborators



    • Li H, Tovell V, Paull D, Simpson D, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2014). Rac1 orchestrates transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of matrix remodelling during fibroblast-mediated matrix contraction.
    • Li H, Fitchett C, Kozdon K, Jayaram H, Rose GE, Bailly M, Ezra DG (2014). Independent adipogenic and contractile properties of fibroblasts in Graves' orbitopathy: an in vitro model for the evaluation of treatments.. PLoS One, 9(4), e95586 - . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095586
    • Yu-Wai-Man C, Treisman R, Bailly M, Khaw PT (2014). The role of the MRTF-A/SRF pathway in ocular fibrosis.. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 55(7), 4560 - 4567. doi:10.1167/iovs.14-14692


    • Li H, Ezra DG, Burton MJ, Bailly M (2013). Doxycycline prevents matrix remodeling and contraction by trichiasis-derived conjunctival fibroblasts.. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 54(7), 4675 - 4682. doi:10.1167/iovs.13-11787


    • Anandagoda N, Ezra DG, Cheema U, Bailly M, Brown RA (2012). Hyaluronan hydration generates three-dimensional meso-scale structure in engineered collagen tissues.. J R Soc Interface, 9(75), 2680 - 2687. doi:10.1098/rsif.2012.0164
    • Terry SJ, Elbediwy A, Zihni C, Harris A, Bailly M, Charras G, Balda M, Matter K (2012). Stimulation of cortical myosin phosphorylation by p114RhoGEF drives cell migration and tumor cell invasion. PLoS One, In press, - .
    • Ezra DG, Krell J, Rose GE, Bailly M, Stebbing J, Castellano L (2012). Transcriptome-level microarray expression profiling implicates IGF-1 and Wnt signalling dysregulation in the pathogenesis of thyroid-associated orbitopathy.. J Clin Pathol, 65(7), 608 - 613. doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2012-200719
    • Tovell VE, Chau CY, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2012). Rac1 inhibition prevents tissue contraction and MMP mediated matrix remodeling in the conjunctiva.. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 53(8), 4682 - 4691. doi:10.1167/iovs.11-8577
    • Kechagia Z, Li H, Ezra D, Burton M, Bailly M (2012). Functional characterisation and gene expression analysis of trachoma conjunctival fibroblasts.. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, 23, - .


    • Ezra DG, Ellis JS, Gaughan C, Beaconsfield M, Collin R, Bunce C, Bailly M, Luthert P (2011). Changes in tarsal plate fibrillar collagens and elastic fibre phenotype in floppy eyelid syndrome. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, , - .
    • Nola S, Daigaku R, Smolarczyk K, Carstens M, Martin-Martin B, Longmore G, Bailly M, Braga VM (2011). Ajuba is required for Rac activation and maintenance of E-cadherin adhesion.. J Cell Biol, 195(5), 855 - 871. doi:10.1083/jcb.201107162
    • McGee KM, Vartiainen MK, Khaw PT, Treisman R, Bailly M (2011). Nuclear transport of the serum response factor coactivator MRTF-A is downregulated at tensional homeostasis.. EMBO Rep, 12(9), 963 - 970. doi:10.1038/embor.2011.141
    • Martin-Martin B, Tovell V, Dahlmann-Noor AH, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2011). The effect of MMP inhibitor GM6001 on early fibroblast-mediated collagen matrix contraction is correlated to a decrease in cell protrusive activity.. Eur J Cell Biol, 90(1), 26 - 36. doi:10.1016/j.ejcb.2010.09.008
    • Tovell VE, Dahlmann-Noor AH, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2011). Advancing the treatment of conjunctival scarring: a novel ex vivo model.. Arch Ophthalmol, 129(5), 619 - 627. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.91


    • Brooks SP, Coccia M, Tang HR, Kanuga N, Machesky LM, Bailly M, Cheetham ME, Hardcastle AJ (2010). The Nance-Horan Syndrome protein encodes a functional WAVE Homology Domain (WHD) and is important for co-ordinating actin remodelling and maintaining cell morphology. Hum.Mol.Genet., , - .
    • Ezra DG, Ellis JS, Beaconsfield M, Collin R, Bailly M (2010). Changes in fibroblast mechanostat set point and mechanosensitivity: an adaptive response to mechanical stress in floppy eyelid syndrome.. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 51(8), 3853 - 3863. doi:10.1167/iovs.09-4724


    • Hayes MJ, Shao DM, Grieve A, Levine T, Bailly M, Moss SE (2009). Annexin A2 at the interface between F-actin and membranes enriched in phosphatidylinositol 4,5,-bisphosphate. Biochim.Biophys.Acta, 1793(6), 1086 - 1095.
    • Dahlmann-Noor AH, Cosgrave E, Lowe S, Bailly M, Vivian AJ (2009). Brimonidine and apraclonidine as vasoconstrictors in adjustable strabismus surgery. J.AAPOS., 13(2), 123 - 126.


    • Hayes MJ, Shao DM, Grieve A, Levine T, Bailly M, Moss SE (2008). Annexin A2 at the interface between F-actin and membranes enriched in phosphatidylinositol 4,5,-bisphosphate. Biochim.Biophys.Acta, , - .
    • Brooks SP, Coccia M, Kanuga N, Bailly M, Cheetham ME, Hardcastle AJ (2008). The Nance-Horan Syndrome protein (NHS) is a member of a new protein family and is localised at epithelial cell junctions..
    • Saleem MA, Zavadil J, Bailly M, McGee K, Witherden IR, Pavenstadt H, Hsu H, Sanday J, Satchell SC, Lennon R, Ni L, Bottinger EP, Mundel P, Mathieson PW (2008). The molecular and functional phenotype of glomerular podocytes reveals key features of contractile smooth muscle cells. Am.J.Physiol Renal Physiol, 295(4), F959 - F970.


    • Dahlmann-Noor AH, Martin-Martin B, Eastwood M, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2007). Dynamic protrusive cell behaviour generates force and drives early matrix contraction by fibroblasts. Experimental Cell Research, , - . doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2007.07.040
    • Bailly M (2007). Moving away from death: when capsase-11 meets cofilin.. Nature Cell Biology, 9, 245 - 246. doi:10.1038/ncb0307-245


    • Shao D, Forge A, Munro PMG, and Bailly M (2006). Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin polymerisation occurs on specific pre-existing networks in cells and requires spatial restriction to sustain functional lamellipod extension. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton, 63(7), 395 - 414. doi:10.1002/cm.20131
    • Bailly M (2006). Protrusive activity as the driving force behind growth factor-mediated tissue contraction.
    • Hayes MJ, Shao DM, Bailly M, Moss SE (2006). Regulation of actin dynamics by annexin 2. EMBO J, 25(9), 1816 - 1826. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.761078
    • Hayes MJ, Shao D, Bailly M, Moss SE (2006). Regulation of actin dynamics by annexin 2. The EMBO Journal, 25(9), 1816 - 1826. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.7601078


    • Zhang J, Betson M, Erasmus J, Zeikos K, Bailly M, Cramer LP, Braga VM (2005). Actin at cell-cell junctions is composed of two dynamic and functional populations. Journal of Cell Science, 118(Pt 23), 5549 - 5562. doi:10.1242/jcs.02639
    • Dahlmann AH, Mireskandari K, Cambrey AD, Bailly M, Khaw PT (2005). Current and future prospects for the prevention of ocular fibrosis. OPHTHALMOL CLIN NORTH AM, 18(4), 539 - 559.


    • Ahir A, Cammer M, Condeelis J, Moss SE, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2004). Sequential cell mediated contractile activity and MMP-mediated physical and chemical matrix remodelling define two distinct phases in tissue contraction.
    • Bailly M (2004). Ena/VASP family: new partners, bigger enigma.. Developmental Cell, 7(4), 462 - 463. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2004.09.008
    • Toda M, Dawson M, Nakamura T, Munro PM, Richardson RM, Bailly M, Ono SJ (2004). Impact of engagement of FcepsilonRI and CC chemokine receptor 1 on mast cell activation and motility.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(46), 48443 - 48448. doi:10.1074/jbc.M408725200
    • DesMarais V, Macaluso F, Condeelis J, Bailly M (2004). Synergistic interaction between the Arp2/3 complex and cofilin drives stimulated lamellipod extension.. Journal of cell science, 117(16), 3499 - 3510. doi:10.1242/jcs.01211
    • Hayes MJ, Merrifield CJ, Shao D, Ayala-Sanmartin J, Schorey CD, Levine TP, Proust J, Curran J, Bailly M, Moss SE (2004). Annexin 2 binding to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate on endocytic vesicles is regulated by the stress response pathway.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(14), 14157 - 14164.


    • Bailly M (2003). Connecting cell adhesion to the actin polymerization machinery: vinculin as the missing link?. Trends in Cell Biology, 13(4), 163 - 165.
    • Ahir A, Moss SE, Khaw PT, Bailly M (2003). Cell motility and extracellular matrix remodelling during cell mediated collagen contraction - The effect of matrix metalloproteinase modulation.
    • Bailly M, Jones GE (2003). Polarised migration: cofilin holds the front. Current Biology, 13(4), R128 - R130. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00072-1


    • Bailly M, Condeelis J (2002). Cell motility: insights from the backstage. Nature Cell Biology, 4(12), E292 - E294.
    • DesMarais VM, Lorenz M, Condeelis J, Bailly M (2002). Contribution of Arp2/3 to the increase of F-actin at the leading edge of rapidly extending lamellipodia.
    • Bailly M (2002). Postdocs don't need reality to hit so hard. Nature, 415(6867), 13 - .


    • Ichetovkin I, Bailly M, Zebda N, Chan A, Condeelis J (2001). Cofilin and Arp2/3 synergize in the generation of barbed ends in stimulated actin polymerization. MOL BIOL CELL, 12, 290A - 290A.
    • DesMarais VMO, Ichetovkin I, Bailly M, Chan A, Condeelis J, Hitchcock-DeGregori S (2001). Dynamics of Arp2/3, cofilin, and tropomyosin localization and function at the leading edge. MOL BIOL CELL, 12, 423A - 423A.
    • Condeelis JS, Wyckoff JB, Bailly M, Pestell R, Lawrence D, Backer J, Segall JE (2001). Lamellipodia in invasion. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 11(2), 119 - 128.
    • Bailly M, Ichetovkin I, Grant W, Zebda N, Machesky LM, Segall JE, Condeelis J (2001). The F-actin side binding activity of the Arp2/3 complex is essential for actin nucleation and lamellipod extension. Current Biology, 11(8), 620 - 625. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(01)00152-X


    • (2000). Phosphorylation of ADF/Cofilin abolishes EFG-induced actin nucleation at the leading edge and subsequent lamellipod extension. The Journal of Cell Biology, 151(5), 1119 - 1128.
    • (2000). Role of cofilin in epidermal growth factor-stimulated actin polymerization and lamellipod protrusion. The Journal of Cell Biology, 148(3), 531 - 542.
    • (2000). Epidermal growth factor receptor distribution during chemotactic responses. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 11(11), 3873 - 3883.