Professor Davide Calebiro

Professor Davide Calebiro

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor of Molecular Endocrinology
Wellcome Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Resarch
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
B15 2TT

Davide's group investigates the basic mechanisms of receptor signalling and their alterations in endocrine diseases. They focus on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which mediate the effects of several hormones and are major drug targets. To investigate receptor nanodomains they develop and use advanced optical methods such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and single-molecule microscopy. Using this approach, they can demonstrate that GPCRs are not only active at the plasma membrane but also at intracellular sites. These findings challenge the classical model of GPCR signalling and could lead to novel drugs with improved efficacy and less side effects for a variety of human diseases. Combining this approach with modern genetic analyses, they recently discovered that mutations in the catalytic alpha subunit of protein kinase A (PKA), which impair its association with the regulatory subunit, are responsible for Cushing´s syndrome due to cortisol-secreting adrenocortical adenomas. The Calebiro group's ultimate goal is to advance their understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of GPCR signalling to devise innovative pharmacological therapies for endocrine and metabolic diseases.


Group members

Postdoctoral Researchers:

  • Titiwat Sungkaworn
  • Marie-Lise Jobin

PhD Students:

  • Amod Godbole
  • Kerstin Seier
  • Kerstin Bathon
  • Sana Siddig

Technical assistants:

  • Bianca Klüpfel
  • Alexandra Bohl

(All staff in Würzburg).

Major external collaborators

  • Markus Sauer (Biocenter, Würzburg)
  • Martin Fassnacht (University Hospital, Würzburg)
  • Luca Persani (University of Milan)
  • Anna Spada (University of Milan)
  • Felix Beuschlein (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • Jérôme Bertherat (Institut Cochin)
  • Emanuele Cocucci (Ohio State University)
  • Constantine Stratakis (NIH).


cAMP Signals in Drosophila Motor Neurons Are Confined to Single Synaptic Boutons. Maiellaro I, Lohse MJ, Kittel RJ, Calebiro D.  Cell Rep. 2016 Oct 25;17(5):1238-1246.

Recurrent EZH1 mutations are a second hit in autonomous thyroid adenomas. Calebiro D, Grassi ES, Eszlinger M, Ronchi CL, Godbole A, Bathon K, Guizzardi F, de Filippis T, Krohn K, Jaeschke H, Schwarzmayr T, Bircan R, Gozu HI, Sancak S, Niedziela M, Strom TM, Fassnacht M, Persani L, Paschke R.  J Clin Invest. 2016 Sep 1;126(9):3383-8.

PKA catalytic subunit mutations in adrenocortical Cushing's adenoma impair association with the regulatory subunit. Calebiro D, Hannawacker A, Lyga S, Bathon K, Zabel U, Ronchi C, Beuschlein F, Reincke M, Lorenz K, Allolio B, Kisker C, Fassnacht M, Lohse MJ.  Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 5;5:5680. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6680.

Constitutive activation of PKA catalytic subunit in adrenal Cushing's syndrome. Beuschlein F*, Fassnacht M*, Assié G*, Calebiro D*, Stratakis CA*, …, Allolio B.  N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 13;370(11):1019-28. (*equal contrib.)

Single-molecule analysis of fluorescently labeled G-protein-coupled receptors reveals complexes with distinct dynamics and organization. Calebiro D, Rieken F, Wagner J, Sungkaworn T, Zabel U, Borzi A, Cocucci E, Zürn A, Lohse MJ.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 8;110(2):743-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205798110.

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