N-Acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE)-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) is a membrane-bound enzyme which releases the endocannabinoid anandamide and other bioactive N-acylethanolamines from their corresponding NAPEs in animal tissues. Our previous studies showed that NAPE-PLD solubilized from the membrane is remarkably stimulated by millimolar concentrations of Ca(2+) while the membrane-bound form is much less sensitive to Ca(2+). This finding suggested that certain membrane constituents diminished the stimulatory effect of Ca(2+). In the present studies, we examined the effects of membrane fractions from COS-7 cells and brain tissue on the purified recombinant rat NAPE-PLD, and found that heat-stable membrane component(s) dose-dependently activated NAPE-PLD up to 4.8-5.0 fold. In the presence of the membrane fractions, however, the stimulatory effect of Ca(2+) on the purified NAPE-PLD was considerably reduced. When it was examined if the membrane fractions can be replaced with various pure phospholipids, phosphatidylethanolamine activated NAPE-PLD up to 3.3 fold, which was followed by decrease in the stimulatory effects of Ca(2+) and several other divalent cations. These results suggest that membrane components including phosphatidylethanolamine keep the membrane-associated form of NAPE-PLD constitutively active.