After binding, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) initially localizes in a small (∼90-kDa) complex in plasma membranes. This event is followed by formation of a second membrane complex, referred to as large (160-kDa) complex. Contrary to a previous hypothesis proposing that CPE inserts into intestinal brush border membranes (BBMs) when this toxin is localized in the small complex, this study shows that BBMs do not offer CPE localized in the small complex protection from pronase. However, our experiments indicate that BBMs do substantially protect CPE from pronase when this toxin is localized in large complex. Since the onset of CPE-induced permeability alterations closely coincides with large-complex formation, these new results suggest that CPE-induced alterations in permeability may result from pore formation due to the partial membrane insertion of CPE when this toxin is present in large complex.