The effect of polyene antibiotics on Candida albicans, human erythrocytes, and Acholeplasma laidlawii was studied. The results sustain the observations made with lecithin-sterol liposomes. The distribution of double bonds in the membrane sterol nucleus appears to be of major importance in conferring polyene susceptibility; those sterols with the ergosterol nucleus are far more effective than those with a nucleus similar to cholesterol. Different polyenes vary in their membrane selectivity. The clinical implications of these observations are discussed.