This review focuses on bacterial oligopeptide-binding proteins, which form part of the oligopeptide transport system belonging to the ATP-binding cassette family of transporters. Depending on the bacterial species, these binding proteins (OppA) capture peptides ranging in size from 2 to 18 amino acids from the environment and pass them on to the other components of the oligopeptide transport system for internalisation. Bacteria have developed several strategies to produce these binding proteins, which are periplasmic in Gram- bacteria and membrane-anchored in Gram+, with a higher stoichiometry (probably necessary for efficient transport) than the other components in the transport system. The expression of OppA-encoding genes is clearly modulated by external factors, especially nitrogen compounds, but the mechanisms of regulation are not always clear. The best-understood roles played by OppAs are internalisation of peptides for nutrition and recycling of muropeptides. It has, however, recently become clear that OppAs are also involved in sensing the external medium via specific or non-specific peptides.