Sphingolipids (SLs) are ubiquitous elements in eukaryotic membranes and are also found in some bacterial and viral species. As well as playing an integral structural role, SLs also act as potent signalling molecules involved in numerous cellular pathways and have been linked to many human diseases. A central SL signalling molecule is sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) whose breakdown is catalysed by sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase (S1PL), a pyridoxal 5 ′-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzyme that catalyses the cleavage of S1P to (2E)-hexadecenal (2E-HEX) and phosphoethanolamine (PE). Here we show the pathogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei K96243 encodes two homologous proteins (S1PL2021 and S1PL2025) that display moderate sequence identity to known eukaryotic and prokaryotic S1PLs. Using an established mass spectrometry-based methodology we show that recombinant S1PL2021 is catalytically active. Using recombinant human fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase (FALDH) we developed a spectrophotometric, enzyme-coupled assay to detect 2E-HEX formation and measure the kinetic constants of the two B. pseudomallei S1PL isoforms. Furthermore, we determined the x-ray crystal structure of the PLP-bound form of S1PL2021 at 2.1 Å resolution revealing the enzyme displays a conserved structural fold and active site architecture comparable with known S1PLs. The combined data suggest that B. pseudomallei has the potential to degrade host SLs in a S1PL-dependent manner.