The Tol proteins are involved in outer membrane stability of Gram-negative bacteria. The TolQRA proteins form a complex in the inner membrane while TolB and Pal interact near the outer membrane. These two complexes are transiently connected by an energy-dependent interaction between Pal and TolA. The Tol proteins have been parasitized by group A colicins for their translocation through the cell envelope. Recent advances in the structure and energetics of the Tol system, as well as the interactions between the N-terminal translocation domain of colicins and the Tol proteins are presented.