Prof. ZHU Dunming from TIB was invited to participate in the “2014 Green Chemistry Gordon Research Conference” held in Hong Kong, China on July 27 to August 1, 2014, and give a lecture entitled “ Engineering of Amino Acid Dehydrogenases for Green Synthesis of Unnatural Amino Acids”.
In the report, Prof. Zhu presented their recent results on a meso-diaminopimelate dehydrogenase from Symbiobacterium thermophilum, the most thermostable and first reported wild-type NAD(P)H-dependent meso-diaminopimelate dehydrogenase with a broad substrate profile. Crystal structure studies reveal the structural basis for the unique features of this enzyme. Site saturation mutagenesis of the amino acid residues interacting with the L-center of the substrate results in mutant enzymes with improved activity for the reductive amination of various 2-keto acids. Therefore, efficient D-amino acid dehydrogenases for different substrates can be tailor-made by engineering of this enzyme while keeping its excellent stereospecificity, thus establishing a platform technology for D-amino acid synthesis. The report caused extensive concern and great interest from the participants which enhance the international popularity not only for Prof. Zhu but for the Institute, also lay the foundation for substantial international cooperation.
Background: Gordon Research Conference (GRC) was established in 1931, and from then on nearly 200 conferences involving the basic research and related technologies on biology, chemistry and physics are held every year. GRC Green Chemistry is held every two years. 2014 Green Chemistry Gordon Research Conference was held in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, there are about 160 attendees from all over the world，the theme is “Industrial Successes and Challenges”, and it covers nine topics including Oil and Gas Industry, Biomass Processing, Polymer Industry, Comestibles, Pharma, Green Energy and so on.