Abstract 1. 1. Kinetic studies have been performed with beef-heart cytochrome c oxidase, with the enzyme either in its oxidized, resting state or pretreated anaerobically with different amounts of reduced cytochrome c. The techniques used for the study have been stopped-flow spectrophotometry and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. 2. 2. The results show that the one-electron equivalent-reduced enzyme rapidly oxidizes one further equivalent of aerobically or anaerobically added ferrocytochrome c, with a rate constant of 5 · 10 6 M −1 · s −1 . 3. 3. When an excess of ferrocytochrome c in the presence of oxygen is added to the one-electron-reduced enzyme, the same turnover rate is obtained as in experiments with the resting enzyme. 4. 4. The one-electron equivalent-reduced enzyme reacts with CO with a rate constant of 4 · 10 4 M −1 · s −1 to yield approx. 35% of the CO compound as compared with the reaction between the fully reduced enzyme and CO. 5. 5. It is shown that on reduction the enzyme is converted into an active form, but it is concluded that the enzyme does not have to be fully reduced before it is catalytically active.