Escherichia coli chromosome encodes several multidrug transporters. Despite their protective function against antibacterial agents, the specific physiological actions of these transporters are not fully understood. E. coli produces indole, a metabolite of tryptophan, under physiological conditions. Defined inactivation of the acrEF gene, the product of which is known as an energy-dependent multiple drug efflux pump, decreased indole excretion while reintroduction of the acrEF gene restored it. A DeltaacrEF mutant accumulated more intracellular indole than the parent. This mutant was more susceptible to the growth-inhibitory effect of indole than the parent. These results indicate that the AcrEF system plays a significant role in indole efflux.