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The mechanism of bactericidal activity of acidocin 8912, a bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus acidophilus TK8912, was investigated. Acidocin 8912 dissipated the membrane potential and the pH gradient in sensitive Lactobacillus casei cells, which affected protonmotive force-dependent processes such as amino acid transport. Acidocin 8912 also caused an efflux of glutamate, previously taken up via a unidirectional ATP-driven transport system, possibly by causing pore formation in the cytoplasmic membrane. The results suggest that the inhibitory action of acidocin 8912 against sensitive Lact. casei cells is directed at the cytoplasmic membrane and that growth inhibition may be caused by the dissipation of the protonmotive force and by pore formation.