Abstract Our studies on the association of penicillinase plasmid (pI524) DNA with its host bacterial ( Staphylococcus aureus ) membrane revealed that the membrane-associated forms of this plasmid could be isolated from exponentially grown cells lysed on neutral sucrose gradient. Analysis of putative plasmid-membrane complexes isolated from the clear lysates on sucrose gradients indicated that approximately 23% of plasmid (pI524) DNA was stably associated with the bacterial cell membrane fractions. This suggested that one of the three or four copies of this plasmid per cell was complexed to the cellular membrane. Examination of the effect of various enzymes, e.g., ribonuclease and protease, as well as antibiotics (rifampicin and chloramphenicol), on complexing have shown the possible involvement of protein(s) rather than RNA in mediating the complexing of this plasmid to the cell membrane. The specificity of plasmid pI524 to its host cell membrane was observed in an experiment where R6k was included in binding assay.