A non-competitive inhibition of binding of cAMP to bovine protein kinase by ochratoxin A (OTA) is shown. Preliminary evidence of a protein kinase in Streptococcus faecalis is presented. The cAMP stimulation of this kinase is also inhibited by OTA. At the lowest OTA concentrations, RNA and protein synthesis are inhibited in S. faecalis. The inhibition of RNA synthesis is secondary, as in the presence of chloramphenicol no inhibition occurs for 10 min after the addition of OTA. The synthesis but not the induction of beta-P-galactosidase is inhibited by OTA. The polysomes of S. faecalis are stabilized after addition of OTA, showing an inhibition of peptide elongation. The model of action of OTA in bacteria is discussed and it is concluded that inhibition of protein synthesis is the process which might be closest to the primary target of OTA.