In order to get catalytic antibodies modelling peroxidases BALB/c mice have been immunized with iron(III)-alpha,alpha,alpha,beta-mesotetrakis-orthocarboxypheny l-porphyrin (Fe-(ToCPP))-KLH conjugates. Monoclonal antibodies have been produced by the hybridoma technology. Three antibodies, 2 IgG1 and 1 IgG2a, were found to bind both Fe(ToCPP) and the free base ToCPPH2 with similar binding constants. None of those antibodies was found to bind tetraphenylporphyrin. Those results suggest that the recognition of Fe(ToCPP) by the antibodies was mainly due to the binding of the carboxylate groups to some amino acid residues of the protein. True Kd values of 2.9 x 10(-9) M and 5.5 x 10(-9) M have been determined for the two IgG1-Fe(ToCPP) complexes. Those values are the best ones ever reported for iron-porphyrin-antibody complexes. UV-vis. studies have shown that the two IgG1-Fe(ToCPP) complexes were high-spin hexacoordinate iron(III) complexes, with no amino acid residue binding the iron, whereas the IgG2a-Fe(ToCPP) complex was a low-spin hexacoordinate iron(III) complex with two strong ligands binding the iron atom. Both IgG1-Fe(ToCPP) complexes were found to catalyze the oxidation of 2,2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) 5-fold more efficiently than Fe(ToCPP) alone whereas the binding of IgG2a to this iron-porphyrin had no effect on its catalytic activity. kcat values of 100 min(-1) and 63 min(-1) and kcat/Km values of 105 M(-1) s(-1) and 119 M(-1) s(-1) have been found respectively for the two IgG1-Fe(ToCPP) complexes.