The acyl-CoA thioesterase (ACOT) family catalyses the hydrolysis of acyl-CoA thioesters to their corresponding non-esterified fatty acid and coenzyme A (CoA). Increasing evidence suggests that cancer cells generally have altered lipid metabolism in different aspects. However, the roles of the ACOT family in cancer, especially in pancreatic ductal carcinoma (PDAC), are largely unknown. In the present study, we mined data to determine the clinical significance of all eleven ACOT genes among nine major solid tumour types from TCGA database and found that the expression of ACOT4 in PDAC was negatively correlated with patient survival, establishing ACOT4 as a potential biomarker of PDAC. Depletion of ACOT4 attenuated the proliferation and tumour formation of PDAC cells. Using mass spectrometry, HSPA1A was found to associate with ACOT4. Furthermore, we found that phosphorylation of ACOT4 at S392 by AKT decreased the binding of ACOT4 to HSPA1A, resulting in ACOT4 accumulation. The ACOT4 elevation promotes pancreatic tumourigenesis by producing excessive CoA to support tumour cell metabolism. Thus, our study expands the relationship between AKT signalling and lipid metabolism and establishes a functional role of ACOT4 in PDAC.