Cytochrome P-450LA omega purified from clofibrate-induced rat liver oxidizes lauric acid to 11- and 12-hydroxydodecanoic acid in approximately a 1:17 ratio at a rate of 20 nmol/nmol P-450/min. In contrast, cytochrome P-450b oxidizes lauric acid much more slowly (0.5 nmol/nmol P-450/min) to an 8:1 mixture of the same metabolites. Western blot analysis indicates that P-450LA omega accounts for 1-2 and 16-30%, respectively, of the total cytochrome P-450 in uninduced and clofibrate-induced rat liver. Cytochrome b5 increases the efficiency of omega-hydroxylation but not the rate of catalytic turnover. Incubation of the enzyme with 10-undecynoic acid (10-UDYA) results in loss of approximately 45% of the enzymatic activity but none of the enzyme chromophore. Approximately 1 mol of 1,11-undecandioic acid is produced per mole of inactivated enzyme. This extraordinary inactivation efficiency is confirmed by NADPH consumption studies. Approximately 0.5 equivalents of label are covalently bound to the enzyme when it is incubated with 14C-labeled 10-UDYA. 11-Dodecenoic acid appears not to be a substrate for cytochrome P-450LA omega but is oxidized, presumably by a contaminating isozyme, to a 10:1 mixture of 11,12-epoxydodecanoic acid and 12-oxododecanoic acid. The results suggest the presence of two closely related P-450LA omega enzymes, only one of which is susceptible to inactivation by 10-UDYA. They also indicate that cytochrome P-450LA omega has a highly structured active site that sterically suppresses omega-1-hydroxylation in order to deliver the oxygen to the thermodynamically disfavored terminal carbon. Protein rather than heme alkylation follows from this reaction regiospecificity.