Sequence analysis and structure prediction of ABHD16A and the roles of the ABHD family members in human disease

Open Biol. 2018 May;8(5):180017. doi: 10.1098/rsob.180017.


Abhydrolase domain containing 16A (ABHD16A) is a member of the α/β hydrolase domain-containing (ABHD) protein family and is expressed in a variety of animal cells. Studies have shown that ABHD16A has acylglycerol lipase and phosphatidylserine lipase activities. Its gene location in the main histocompatibility complex (MHC) III gene cluster suggests that this protein may participate in the immunomodulation of the body. The results of studies investigating nearly 20 species of ABHDs reveal that the ABHD proteins are key factors in metabolic regulation and disease occurrence and development. In this paper, we summarize the related progress regarding the function of ABHD16A and other ABHD proteins. A prediction of the active sites and structural domains of ABHD16A and an analysis of the amino acid sites are included. Moreover, we analysed the amino acid sequences of the ABHD16A molecules in different species and provide an overview of the related functions and diseases associated with these proteins. The functions and diseases related to ABHD are systematically summarized and highlighted. Future research directions for studies investigating the functions and mechanisms of these proteins are also suggested. Further studies investigating the function of ABHD proteins may further confirm their positions as important determinants of lipid metabolism and related diseases.

Keywords: ABHD16A; ABHDs; immune regulation; lipase; metabolic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Hydrolases / genetics
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases / chemistry*
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases / genetics*
  • Multigene Family
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Conformation
  • Sequence Analysis


  • Hydrolases
  • ABHD16A protein, human
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases