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Mycobacterium tuberculosis has a complex life cycle transitioning between active and dormant growth states depending on environmental conditions. LipN (Rv2970c) is a conserved mycobacterial serine hydrolase with regulated catalytic activity at the interface between active and dormant growth conditions. LipN also catalyzes the xenobiotic degradation of a tertiary ester substrate and contains multiple conserved motifs connected with the ability to catalyze the hydrolysis of difficult tertiary ester substrates. Herein, we expanded a library of fluorogenic ester substrates to include more tertiary and constrained esters and screened 33 fluorogenic substrates for activation by LipN, identifying its unique substrate signature. LipN preferred short, unbranched ester substrates, but had its second highest activity against a heteroaromatic five-membered oxazole ester. Oxazole esters are present in multiple mycobacterial serine hydrolase inhibitors but have not been tested widely as ester substrates. Combined structural modeling, kinetic measurements, and substitutional analysis of LipN showcased a fairly rigid binding pocket preorganized for catalysis of short ester substrates. Substitution of diverse amino acids across the binding pocket significantly impacted the folded stability and catalytic activity of LipN with two conserved motifs (HGGGW and GDSAG) playing interconnected, multidimensional roles in regulating its substrate specificity. Together this detailed substrate specificity profile of LipN illustrates the complex interplay between structure and function in mycobacterial hormone-sensitive lipase homologues and indicates oxazole esters as promising inhibitor and substrate scaffolds for mycobacterial hydrolases.