Dietary polyphenols are bioactive molecules that beneficially affect human health, due to their anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective and chemopreventive properties. They are absorbed in a very low percentage in the small intestine and reach intact the colon, where they are metabolized by the gut microbiota. Although it is well documented a key role of microbial metabolism in the absorption of polyphenols and modulation of their biological activity, molecular mechanisms at the basis of the bacteria-polyphenols interplay are still poorly understood. In this context, differential proteomics was applied to reveal adaptive response mechanisms that enabled a potential probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus strain to survive in the presence of the dietary polyphenol rutin. The response to rutin mainly modulated the expression level of proteins involved in general stress response mechanisms and, in particular, induced the activation of protein quality control systems, and affected carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, protein synthesis and cell wall integrity. Moreover, rutin triggered the expression of proteins involved in oxidation-reduction processes.This study provides a first general view of the impact of dietary polyphenols on metabolic and biological processes of L. acidophilus.