Based on a gene mining approach using Symbiobacterium thermophilum, the group around Professor Duming ZHU obtained first a meso-diaminopimelate dehydrogenase of which a crystal structure was obtained. By protein engineering, the substrate binding pocket was changed to allow the conversion of a wide range of L- to the D-amino acids via intermediary keto-acids and reductive amination.

China Bio news release, January 29, 2014