Lipid aldehydes including isolevuglandins (IsoLGs) and 4-hydroxynonenal modify phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to form proinflammatory and cytotoxic adducts. Therefore, cells may have evolved mechanisms to degrade and prevent accumulation of these potentially harmful compounds. To test if cells could degrade isolevuglandin-modified phosphatidylethanolamine (IsoLG-PE), we generated IsoLG-PE in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells and human umbilical cord endothelial cells and measured its stability over time. We found that IsoLG-PE levels decreased more than 75% after 6 h, suggesting that IsoLG-PE was indeed degraded. Because N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) has been described as a key enzyme in the hydrolysis of N-acyl phosphatidylethanoamine (NAPE) and both NAPE and IsoLG-PE have large aliphatic headgroups, we considered the possibility that this enzyme might also hydrolyze IsoLG-PE. We found that knockdown of NAPE-PLD expression using small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly increased the persistence of IsoLG-PE in HEK293 cells. IsoLG-PE competed with NAPE for hydrolysis by recombinant mouse NAPE-PLD, with the catalytic efficiency (V(max)/K(m)) for hydrolysis of IsoLG-PE being 30% of that for hydrolysis of NAPE. LC-MS/MS analysis confirmed that recombinant NAPE-PLD hydrolyzed IsoLG-PE to IsoLG-ethanolamine. These results demonstrate that NAPE-PLD contributes to the degradation of IsoLG-PE and suggest that a major physiological role of NAPE-PLD may be to degrade aldehyde-modified PE, thereby preventing the accumulation of these harmful compounds.