1. The action of the antibiotics enniatin A, valinomycin, the actin homologues, gramicidin, nigericin and dianemycin on mitochondria, erythrocytes and smectic mesophases of lecithin–dicetyl hydrogen phosphate was studied. 2. These antibiotics induced permeability to alkali-metal cations on all three membrane systems. 3. The ion specificity on each membrane system was the same. 4. Enniatin A, valinomycin and the actins did not induce permeability to protons, whereas nigericin and dianemycin rendered all three membrane systems freely permeable to protons. 5. Several differences were noted between permeability induced by nigericin and that induced by gramicidin. 6. The action of all these antibiotics on mitochondrial respiration could be accounted for by changes in passive ion permeability of the mitochondrial membrane similar to those induced in erythrocytes and phospholipid membranes, if it is assumed that a membrane potential is present in respiring mitochondria.

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