Kayla Bayless

Kayla Bayless

Associate Professor

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine
142 Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, TX   77843

Phone: 979.436.0763
Fax: 979.845.7287

Education and Post-Graduate Training

Dr. Kayla Bayless received her BS in molecular biology from Texas Lutheran University in 1994, and her PhD in medical physiology from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center in 1999 working with Dr. Gerald Meininger and Dr. George Davis.

Her postdoctoral work was in the Department of Pathology at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center working with Dr. George Davis.

Research Interests

Endothelial invasion in 3-D matrices

The mechanism through which primary human endothelial cells invade into 3-D matrices is being studied. The model used mimics angiogenesis, or the process of new blood vessel formation from existing structures (see Figure 1)

Angiogenesis is critical for successful pregnancy and abnormally stimulated during tumor growth, rheumatoid arthritis and blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and macular degeneration.

Intracellular molecular signals that are responsible for endothelial invasion responses are being investigated; along with important surface molecules include membrane-associated matrix metalloproteinases and integrins. We are utilizing pharmacological, gene knockdown, gene expression and protein localization studies to confirm the involvement of all molecules identified in preliminary screening experiments.

Extracellular matrix biology

Collaborative studies with Dr. Alvin Yeh's laboratory (Texas A&M University, Department of Biomedical Engineering) have revealed details about communication between invading endothelial cells and their surrounding 3-D collagen matrix (see Figure 2). In these studies, two photon fluroescence was used to detect fluorescently-labeled endothelial cells as well as the surrounding collagen matrix using second harmonic generation (SHG). These studies combined with biochemical analyses are expected to provide further insight into molecular signals that regulate endothelial cell interactions with the extracellular fibrous collagen matrix as they form multicellular sprouting structures that contain lumens.


  • Kang H, KJ Bayless, R Kaunas. (2008). Fluid shear stress modulates endothelial cell invasion into three-dimensional collagen matrices. American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 295: H2087-H2097. PMID: 18805898 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18805898
  • Su SC, EA Mendoza, HI Kwak, and KJ Bayless. (2008). Molecular profile of endothelial invasion of three-dimensional collagen matrices: insights into angiogenic sprout induction in wound healing. American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology. 295: C1215-C1229. PMID: 18787072 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787072
  • Lee PF, AT Yeh, KJ Bayless. (2009) Nonlinear optical microscopy reveals invading endothelial cells anisotropically alter three-dimensional collagen matrices. Experimental Cell Research. 315: 396-410. PMID: 19041305 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19041305
  • Kwak HI, EA Mendoza, KJ Bayless. (2009). ADAM17 co-purifies with TIMP-3 and modulates endothelial invasion responses in three-dimensional collagen matrices. Matrix Biology. 28: 470-479. PMID: 19666115 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19666115
  • Bayless KJ, HI Kwak, SC Su. (2009). Investigating endothelial invasion and sprouting behavior in three-dimensional collagen matrices. Nature Protocols. 4: 1888-1898. PMID: 20010936 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010936
  • SC Su, SA Maxwell, KJ Bayless. (2010). Annexin 2 regulates endothelial morphogenesis by controlling AKT activation and junctional integrity. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285: 40624-40634. PMID: 20947498 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20947498
  • Maxwell SA, EM Cherry, and KJ Bayless. (2011). Akt, 14-3-3ζ, and vimentin mediate a drug-resistant invasive phenotype in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Leukemia and Lymphoma. 52(5): 849-864. PMID: 21323512 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21323512
  • Bayless KJ, and GA Johnson. (2011). Role of the cytoskeleton in formation and maintenance of angiogenic sprouts. Journal of Vascular Research. 48: 369-385. PMID: 21464572 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21464572
  • Kaunas R, H Kang and KJ Bayless. (2011). Synergistic regulation of angiogenic sprouting by biochemical factors and wall shear stress. Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. 4(4): 547-559. PMID: 22247741 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22247741
  • Kang H, HI Kwak, RR Kaunas, and KJ Bayless. (2011). Fluid Shear Stress and Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Activate Calpain to Promote MT1-MMP Membrane Translocation and Endothelial Invasion in Collagen Matrices. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(49): 42017-42026. PMID: 22002053 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22002053
  • Kwak H-I, H Kang, EA Mendoza, SC Su, SA Maxwell, and KJ Bayless. (2012). Calpain-mediated vimentin cleavage occurs upstream of MT1-MMP membrane translocation to facilitate endothelial sprout initiation. Angiogenesis. 15(2): 287-303. PMID: 22407449  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407449
  • Su SC, Bayless KJ. (2012). Utilizing sphingosine-1-phosphate to stimulate sprouting angiogenesis. Methods in Molecular Biology. 874: 201-13. PMID: 22528450 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22528450
  • Dave JM, Kang H, Abbey CA, Maxwell SA, Bayless KJ. (2013) Proteomic profiling of endothelial invasion revealed receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) complexed with vimentin to regulate focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288(42): 30720-30733. PMID: 24005669 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24005669
  • Lee DW, Ramakrishnan D, Valenta J, Parney IF, Bayless KJ, Sitcheran R. (2013). The NF-κB RelB protein is an oncogenic driver of mesenchymal glioma. PLoS One. 8(2): e57489. PMID: 23451236 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23451236
  • Lee PF, Bai Y, Smith RL, Bayless KJ, Yeh AT. (2013). Angiogenic responses are enhanced in mechanically and microscopically characterized, microbial transglutaminase crosslinked collagen matrices with increased stiffness. Acta Biomateriologica. 9(7): 7178-7190.
  • Patterson JL, Abbey CA, Bayless KJ, Bondos SE. (2013) Materials composed of the Drosophila melanogaster protein ultrabithorax are cytocompatible. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A. 102(1): 97-104. PMID: 23596050 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23596050
  • Abbey CA, Bayless KJ. (2014) Matrix density alters zyxin phosphorylation, which limits peripheral process formation and extension in endothelial cells invading 3D collagen matrices. Matrix Biology. 38:36-47. PMID: 25038525 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25038525
  • Dave JM, Bayless KJ. (2014) Vimentin as an integral regulator of cell adhesion and endothelial sprouting. Microcirculation.  21(4): 333-44. PMID: 24387004 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24387004
  • Gao Y, Bayless KJ, Li Q. (2014) TGFBR1 is required for mouse myometrial development. Molecular Endocrinology. 28(3): 380-394. PMID: 24506537  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24506537
  • Bai Y, Lee PF, Gibbs HC, Bayless KJ, Yeh AT. (2014) Dynamic multicomponent engineered tissue reorganization and matrix deposition measured with an integrated nonlinear optical microscopy-optical coherence microscopy system. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 19(3): 36014. PMID: 24647972 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24647972
  • Gao Y, Duran S, Lydon JP, DeMayo FJ, Burghardt RC, Bayless KJ, Bartholin L, Li Q. (2015) Constitutive Activation of Transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor 1 in the Mouse Uterus Impairs Uterine Morphology and Function. Biology of Reproduction, In press. PMID: 25505200 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25505200