Photo of Caroline Enns, Ph.D

Caroline Enns Ph.D

  • (503) 494-5845
    • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology School of Medicine
    • Cancer Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences School of Medicine

The cell is a highly organized and dynamic structure. Most proteins are found exclusively in one compartment of the cell and are only transported to other locations as a result of intra- or extra-cellular signaling pathways. For the most part, proteins are synthesized in the cytoplasm and targeted either co- or post-translationally to their particular destination. Recently, an increasing number of human diseases have been attributed to mutations which result in the mistargeting of essential proteins. The signals responsible for the targeting membrane proteins in the biosynthetic and endocytic pathways are of particular interest to my laboratory. In addition to studying the basic cell biology of protein trafficking within the cell, we have begun to examine the trafficking and function of the protein implicated in hemochromatosis, the most common hereditary disease of people of European ancestry. Malfunctioning of this protein results in the abnormal accumulation of iron in the body. Iron uptake into the body is highly regulated. Although it is essential for life, too much iron is toxic and results in heart failure, adult onset diabetes, arthritis, and cirrhosis of the liver. We are examining the intracellular trafficking of this protein and how it participates in the control of iron uptake and egress.

Areas of interest

  • cell biology protein trafficking hereditary hemochromatosis cellular basis of human disease structure function of membrane proteins cancer


  • Ph.D., University of Oregon 1976


  • "Ultrafiltered recombinant AAV8 vector can be safely administered in vivo and efficiently transduces liver." PLoS One In: , Vol. 13, No. 4, e0194728, 01.04.2018.
  • "Transferrin Receptors TfR1 and TfR2 Bind Transferrin through Differing Mechanisms." Biochemistry In: , Vol. 57, No. 9, 06.03.2018, p. 1552-1559.
  • "The tumor suppressor, P53, decreases the metal transporter, ZIP14." Nutrients In: , Vol. 9, No. 12, 1335, 08.12.2017.
  • "Versatile Interacting Peptide (VIP) Tags for Labeling Proteins with Bright Chemical Reporters." ChemBioChem In: , Vol. 18, No. 5, 02.03.2017, p. 470-474.
  • "Matriptase-2 suppresses hepcidin expression by cleaving multiple components of the hepcidin induction pathway." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 292, No. 44, 2017, p. 18354-18371.
  • "Neogenin facilitates the induction of hepcidin expression by hemojuvelin in the liver." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 291, No. 23, 03.06.2016, p. 12322-12335.
  • "Mutations in SLC39A14 disrupt manganese homeostasis and cause childhood-onset parkinsonism-dystonia." Nature Communications In: , Vol. 7, 11601, 27.05.2016.
  • "Bone Morphogenetic Protein-6 Mutations Take Their Place in Iron Overload Diseases." Gastroenterology  In: , Vol. 150, No. 3, 01.03.2016, p. 556-559.
  • "CD81 Promotes both the degradation of transferrin receptor 2 (TfR2) and the Tfr2-mediated maintenance of hepcidin expression." Journal of Biological Chemistry In: , Vol. 290, No. 12, 20.03.2015, p. 7841-7850.
  • "Low intracellular iron increases the stability of Matriptase-2." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 290, No. 7, 13.02.2015, p. 4432-4446.
  • "An iron-regulated and glycosylation-dependent proteasomal degradation pathway for the plasma membrane metal transporter ZIP14." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America In: , Vol. 111, No. 25, 24.06.2014, p. 9175-9180.
  • "The role of hepatic transferrin receptor 2 in the regulation of iron homeostasis in the body." Frontiers in Pharmacology In: , Vol. 5 MAR, Article 034, 2014.
  • "The First Transmembrane Domain of Lipid Phosphatase SAC1 Promotes Golgi Localization." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 8, No. 8, e71112, 01.08.2013.
  • "Ferristatin II Promotes Degradation of Transferrin Receptor-1 In Vitro and In Vivo." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 8, No. 7, e70199, 23.07.2013.
  • "Iron regulation by hepcidin." Journal of Clinical Investigation In: , Vol. 123, No. 6, 03.06.2013, p. 2337-2343.
  • "N-linked glycosylation is required for transferrin-induced stabilization of transferrin receptor 2, but not for transferrin binding or trafficking to the cell surface." Biochemistry In: , Vol. 52, No. 19, 14.05.2013, p. 3310-3319.
  • "Increased Iron Loading Induces Bmp6 Expression in the Non-Parenchymal Cells of the Liver Independent of the BMP-Signaling Pathway." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 8, No. 4, e60534, 02.04.2013.
  • "Neogenin interacts with matriptase-2 to facilitate hemojuvelin cleavage." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 287, No. 42, 12.10.2012, p. 35104-35117.
  • "Hereditary hemochromatosis and transferrin receptor 2." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects In: , Vol. 1820, No. 3, 03.2012, p. 256-263.
  • "Iron Transport Machinery of Human Cells. Players and Their Interactions." Current Topics in Membranes In: , Vol. 69, 2012, p. 67-93.
  • "Suppression of hepatic hepcidin expression in response to acute iron deprivation is associated with an increase of matriptase-2 protein." Blood In: , Vol. 117, No. 5, 03.02.2011, p. 1687-1899.
  • "Matriptase-2- and proprotein convertase-cleaved forms of hemojuvelin have different roles in the down-regulation of hepcidin expression." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 285, No. 50, 10.12.2010, p. 39021-39028.
  • "ZRT/IRT-like protein 14 (ZIP14) promotes the cellular assimilation of iron from transferrin." Journal of Biological Chemistry In: , Vol. 285, No. 42, 15.10.2010, p. 32141-32150.
  • "The role of hepatocyte hemojuvelin in the regulation of bone morphogenic protein-6 and hepcidin expression in vivo." Journal of Biological Chemistry In: , Vol. 285, No. 22, 28.05.2010, p. 16416-16423.
  • "Hepatocyte-targeted HFE and TFR2 control hepcidin expression in mice." Blood In: , Vol. 115, No. 16, 22.04.2010, p. 3374-3381.
  • "Stoichiometries of transferrin receptors 1 and 2 in human liver." Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases In: , Vol. 44, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 28-33.
  • "Transferrin-directed internalization and cycling of transferrin receptor 2." Traffic In: , Vol. 10, No. 10, 10.2009, p. 1488-1501.
  • "Reply." Gastroenterology In: , Vol. 137, No. 3, 09.2009, p. 1175.
  • "Hemojuvelin-neogenin interaction is required for bone morphogenic protein-4-induced hepcidin expression." Journal of Biological Chemistry In: , Vol. 284, No. 34, 21.08.2009, p. 22580-22589.
  • "Interaction of the Hereditary Hemochromatosis Protein HFE with Transferrin Receptor 2 Is Required for Transferrin-Induced Hepcidin Expression." Cell Metabolism In: , Vol. 9, No. 3, 04.03.2009, p. 217-227.

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