Interests in Acinetobacter haemolyticus lipases are showing an increasing trend concomitant with growth of the enzyme industry and the widening search for novel enzymes and applications. Here, we present a structural model that reveals the key catalytic residues of lipase KV1 from A. haemolyticus. Homology modeling of the lipase structure was based on the structure of a carboxylesterase from the archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus as the template, which has a sequence that is 58% identical to that of lipase KV1. The lipase KV1 model is comprised of a single compact domain consisting of seven parallel and one anti-parallel β-strand surrounded by nine α-helices. Three structurally conserved active-site residues, Ser165, Asp259, and His289, and a tunnel through which substrates access the binding site were identified. Docking of the substrates tributyrin and palmitic acid into the pH 8 modeled lipase KV1 active sites revealed an aromatic platform responsible for the substrate recognition and preference toward tributyrin. The resulting binding modes from the docking simulation correlated well with the experimentally determined hydrolysis pattern, for which pH 8 and tributyrin being the optimum pH and preferred substrate. The results reported herein provide useful insights into future structure-based tailoring of lipase KV1 to modulate its catalytic activity.
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