Abstract The hydrophobic photosensitizer acridine plus near-ultraviolet light damages both plasma membranes and outer membranes in Escherichia coli. Two lines of evidence are presented that outer membrane proteins are affected by acridine plus near-ultraviolet light treatment and that the effect is selective for certain proteins. First, analysis of outer membrane proteins on sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gels revealed that some protein bands are diminished upon treatment while others remain unaltered. New bands also appear, suggesting degradation or crosslinking reactions. Second, bacteriophage adsorption studies showed that treatment of E. coli F cells with acridine plus near-ultraviolet light causes a loss in functionality of the receptor for phage T5. Treatment of E. coli ABU57 cells under comparable conditions has no discernable effect on the functionality of the receptor for phage BF23.