Victoria K Hill

University College Birmingham, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (9)48.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Grade IV glioblastomas exist in two forms, primary (de novo) glioblastomas (pGBM) that arise without precursor lesions, and the less common secondary glioblastomas (sGBM) which develop from earlier lower grade lesions. Genetic heterogeneity between pGBM and sGBM has been documented as have differences in the methylation of individual genes. A hypermethylator phenotype in grade IV GBMs is now well documented however there has been little comparison between global methylation profiles of pGBM and sGBM samples or of methylation profiles between paired early and late sGBM samples.
    BMC Cancer 07/2014; 14(1):506. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The recent publication of the TCGA Kidney Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma (KIRC) project has provided an immense wealth and breadth of data providing an invaluable tool for confirmation and expansion upon previous observations in a large data set containing multiple data types including DNA methylation, somatic mutation, and clinical information. In clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) many genes have been demonstrated to be epigenetically inactivated by promoter hypermethylated and in a small number of cases to be associated with clinical outcome. This study created two cohorts based on the Illumina BeadChip array used to confirm the frequency of tumor-specific hypermethylation of these published hypermethylated genes, assess the impact of somatic mutation or chromosomal loss and provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of the association of this hypermethylation with patient survival. Hypermethylation of the Fibrillin 2 (FBN2) gene was the most consistent epigenetic biomarker for CCRCC across both cohorts in 40.2% or 52.5% of tumors respectively. Hypermethylation of the secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) gene and the basonuclin 1 (BNC1) gene were both statistically associated with poorer survival in both cohorts (SFRP1 - p = <0.0001 or 0.0010 and BNC1 - p = <0.0001 or 0.0380) and represented better independent markers of survival than tumor stage, grade or dimension in one cohort and tumor stage or dimension in the other cohort. Loss of the SFRP1 protein can potentially activate the WNT pathway and this analysis highlighted hypermethylation of several other WNT pathway regulating genes and demonstrated a poorer survival outcome for patients with somatic mutation of these genes. The success of demethylating drugs in hematological malignances and the current trials in solid tumors suggest that the identification of clinically relevant hypermethylated genes combined with therapeutic advances may improve the effectiveness and usefulness of such drugs in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85621. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and malignant type of primary brain tumor in adults and prognosis of most GBM patients is poor. However, a small percentage of patients show a term survival of 36 mo or longer after diagnosis. Epigenetic profiles can provide molecular markers for patient prognosis: recently, a G-CIMP positive phenotype associated with IDH1 mutations has been described for GBMs with good prognosis. In the present analysis we performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of short-term survivors (STS; overall survival < 1 y) and long-term survivors (LTS; overall survival > 3 y) by utilizing the HumanMethylation450K BeadChips to assess quantitative methylation at > 480,000 CpG sites. Cluster analysis has shown that a subset of LTS showed a G-CIMP positive phenotype that was tightly associated with IDH1 mutation status and was confirmed by analysis of the G-CIMP signature genes. Using high stringency criteria for differential hypermethylation between brain non-cancer and tumor samples, we identified 2,638 hypermethylated CpG loci (890 genes) in STS GBMs, 3,101 hypermethylated CpG loci (1,062 genes) in LTS (wild type IDH1) and 11,293 hypermethylated CpG loci in LTS (mutated for IDH1), reflecting the CIMP positive phenotype. The location of differentially hypermethylated CpG loci with respect to CpG content, neighborhood context and functional genomic distribution was similar in our sample set, with the majority of CpG loci residing in CpG islands and in gene promoters. Our preliminary study also identified a set of CpG loci differentially hypermethylated between STS and LTS cases, including members of the homeobox gene family (HOXD8, HOXD13 and HOXC4), the transcription factors NR2F2 and TFAP2A, and Dickkopf 2, a negative regulator of the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 01/2013; 8(2). · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ras-association domain family (RASSF) members are a family of genes containing an RA domain in either the C-terminus (RASSF1-RASSF6) or in the N-terminus (RASSF7-RASSF10). Members of this gene family are core members of the Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) tumor suppressor network and have been shown to be involved in human tumorigenesis. Among the RASSF genes, RASSF1A is one of the most frequently methylated genes in a wide range of epithelial cancers, and we previously demonstrated that RASSF6 and RASSF10 genes are frequently epigenetically inactivated in acute leukemias, particularly in those of the B cell type. We here determined the methylation profiles of all members of the RASSF gene family as well as two recently identified (KIBRA, CRB3) upstream members of the SWH pathway in the leukemic B cells obtained from a well-characterized cohort of 95 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Among the RASSF genes, RASSF10 (50%) was the most frequently methylated gene, followed by RASSF6 (16%). The remaining RASSF genes were either unmethylated or showed a frequency of methylation < 10%. The upstream SWH member KIBRA was also frequently methylated in CLL (35%) in contrast to CRB3. Interestingly, the analysis of clinical-pathological parameters showed that KIBRA methylation was associated with unfavorable biological prognostic parameters, including unmutated IGHV genes (p = 0.007) and high CD38 expression (p < 0.05).
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 03/2012; 7(3):211-5. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epigenetic inactivation of tumor suppressor genes is a hallmark of cancer development. RASSF1A (Ras Association Domain Family 1 isoform A) tumor suppressor gene is one of the most frequently epigenetically inactivated genes in a wide range of adult and children's cancers and could be a useful molecular marker for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. RASSF1A has been shown to play a role in several biological pathways, including cell cycle control, apoptosis and microtubule dynamics. RASSF2, RASSF4, RASSF5 and RASSF6 are also epigenetically inactivated in cancer but have not been analysed in as wide a range of malignancies as RASSF1A. Recently four new members of the RASSF family were identified these are termed N-Terminal RASSF genes (RASSF7-RASSF10). Molecular and biological analysis of these newer members has just begun. This review highlights what we currently know in respects to structural, functional and molecular properties of the N-Terminal RASSFs.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 03/2011; 6(3):284-92. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epigenetic profiling of tumor DNAs may reveal important new theranostic targets to improve prognosis and treatment of advanced cancer patients. In this study, we performed a genome-wide profile of DNA methylation patterns in sporadic breast tumors by using the HumanMethylation27 BeadChips to assess relationships between DNA methylation changes and patient tumor characteristics. The arrays identified 264 hypermethylated loci/genes present in genomic CpG islands. Hierarchical clustering based on methylation levels divided the specimens into three distinct groups, within which certain clinical features also clustered. Statistically significant differences were determined between overall methylation levels of these clusters and estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor (ER/PR) status (P = 0.001), tumor relapse (P = 0.035), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.042). We identified several individual methylated genes associated with clinical features, including six genes (RECK, SFRP2, UAP1L1, ACADL, ITR, and UGT3A1) that showed statistical significance between methylation and relapse-free survival. Notably, the RECK gene in this group has been associated in other cancers with poorest prognosis. Among the leading relapse-associated genes and the genes associated with ER/PR status, we sequenced an independent set of paired normal/tumor breast DNA samples to confirm tumor specificity of methylation. Further, we carried out quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR to confirm reduced expression in methylated tumors. Our findings suggest the utility for the DNA methylation patterns in these genes as clinically useful surrogate markers in breast cancer, as well as new molecular pathways for further investigation as therapeutic targets.
    Cancer Research 03/2011; 71(8):2988-99. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The WW-domain containing protein KIBRA has recently been identified as a new member of the Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) pathway in Drosophila and is shown to act as a tumor suppressor gene in Drosophila. This pathway is conserved in humans and members of the pathway have been shown to act as tumor suppressor genes in mammalian systems. We determined the methylation status of the 5' CpG island associated with the KIBRA gene in human cancers. In a large panel of cancer cell lines representing common epithelial cancers KIBRA was unmethylated. But in pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) cell lines KIBRA showed frequent hypermethylation and silencing of gene expression, which could be reversed by treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. In ALL patient samples KIBRA was methylated in 70% B-ALL but was methylated in < 20% T-ALL leukemia (p = 0.0019). In B-ALL KIBRA methylation was associated with ETV6/RUNX1 [t(12;21) (p13;q22)] chromosomal translocation (p = 0.0082) phenotype, suggesting that KIBRA may play an important role in t(12;21) leukemogenesis. In ALL paired samples at diagnosis and remission KIBRA methylation was seen in diagnostic but not in any of the remission samples accompanied by loss of KIBRA expression in disease state compared to patients in remission. Hence KIBRA methylation occurs frequently in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia but not in epithelial cancers and is linked to specific genetic event in B-ALL.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 03/2011; 6(3):326-32. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently described the N-terminal RAS association domain family of genes, RASSF7-10. Previously, we cloned the N-terminal RASSF10 gene and demonstrated frequent methylation of the associated 5'-CpG island in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. To characterize RASSF10 gene expression, we demonstrate that in developing Xenopus embryos, RASSF10 shows a very striking pattern in the rhombencephalon (hind brain). It is also expressed in other parts of the brain and other organs. Due to the well-defined expression pattern in the brain of Xenopus embryos, we analyzed the methylation status of the RASSF10-associated 5'-CpG island in astrocytic gliomas. RASSF10 was frequently methylated in WHO grade II-III astrocytomas and WHO grade IV primary glioblastomas (67.5%), but was unmethylated in grade I astrocytomas and in DNA from age matched control brain samples. RASSF10 gene expression both at the mRNA and protein levels could be switched back on in methylated glioma cell lines after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. In secondary glioblastomas (sGBM), RASSF10 methylation was an independent prognostic factor associated with worst progression-free survival and overall survival and occurred at an early stage in their development. In cell culture experiments, overexpression of RASSF10 mediated a reduction in the colony forming ability of two RASSF10-methylated glioma cell lines. Conversely, RNAi-mediated knockdown of RASSF10-stimulated anchorage-independent growth of U87 glioma cells, increased their viability and caused an increase in the cells' proliferative ability. We generated and characterized a RASSF10-specific antibody and demonstrated for the first time that RASSF10 subcellular localization is cell-cycle dependent with RASSF10 colocalizing to centrosomes and associated microtubules during mitosis. This is the first report demonstrating that RASSF10 can act as a tumor suppressor gene and is frequently methylated in gliomas and can potentially be developed into a prognostic marker for sGBM.
    Oncogene 10/2010; 30(8):978-89. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are several high throughput approaches to identify methylated genes in cancer. We utilized one such recently developed approach, MIRA (methylated-CpG island recovery assay) combined with CpG island arrays to identify novel genes that are epigenetically inactivated in breast cancer. Using this approach we identified numerous CpG islands that demonstrated aberrant DNA methylation in breast cancer cell lines. Using a combination of COBRA and sequencing of bisulphite modified DNA, we confirmed 5 novel genes frequently methylated in breast tumours; EMILIN2, SALL1, DBC1, FBLN2 and CIDE-A. Methylation frequencies ranged from between 25% and 63% in primary breast tumours, whilst matched normal breast tissue DNA was either unmethylated or demonstrated a much lower frequency of methylation compared to malignant breast tissue DNA. Furthermore expression of the above 5 genes was shown to be restored following treatment with a demethylating agent in methylated breast cancer cell lines. We have expanded this analysis across three other common epithelial cancers (lung, colorectal, prostate). We demonstrate that the above genes show varying levels of methylation in these cancers. Lastly and most importantly methylation of EMILIN2 was associated with poorer clinical outcome in breast cancer and was strongly associated with estrogen receptor as well as progesterone receptor positive breast cancers. The combination of the MIRA assay with CpG island arrays is a very useful technique for identifying epigenetically inactivated genes in cancer genomes and can provide molecular markers for early cancer diagnosis, prognosis and epigenetic therapy.
    Molecular Cancer 03/2010; 9:51. · 5.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

90 Citations
48.38 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University College Birmingham
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010–2012
    • University of Birmingham
      • • College of Medical and Dental Sciences
      • • School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
      Birmingham, ENG, United Kingdom