Extraction of the crude cell envelope fraction of cloacin DF13-susceptible Enterobacter cloacae strain 02 with Triton X-100 and ethylenediaminetetraacetate solubilized an outer membrane fraction which neutralized the lethal activity of cloacin DF13. A similar fraction could not be isolated from strains known to be lacking functional cloacin DF13 receptors. On this basis the isolated outer membrane fraction was assumed to contain the specific cloacin DF13 receptor. The receptor was purified to homogeneity by acetone precipitation and affinity chromatography, using cloacin DF13 as a ligand. The purified receptor was identified as a protein which consisted of a single polypeptide chain with an apparent molecular weight of 90,000 and a preponderance of acidic amino acids (pI = 5.0). The interaction of equimolar amounts of purified receptor and cloacin DF13 in vitro resulted in a complete, irreversible neutralization of the lethal activity of the bacteriocin. This interaction showed a temperature optimum at 43 degrees C but was only slightly affected by variation of the pH between 5.0 and 8.5 or by increasing the ionic strength of the incubation buffer. The receptor had no neutralizing activity towards other bacteriocins, such as colicin E1 or colicin E3.