We have assayed carbonic anhydrase activity (carbonate dehydratase, carbonate hydro-lyase, EC 126.96.36.199) and bicarbonate permeability in suspensions of broken and intact guinea pig mitochondria by monitoring the disappearance of C16O18O. We found significant activity in preparations from liver and skeletal muscle, but not in preparations from heart muscle, brain, and kidney. Intact mitochondria containing carbonic anhydrase produce a two-phase acceleration of the disappearance of the labeled CO2, which indicates that the enzyme is located in a region more accessible to CO2 than to HCO3-. Acetazolamide inhibits the enzyme activity instantly in broken mitochondria but only after a delay in intact mitochondria, indicating that the enzyme is in a region not immediately accessible to the inhibitor. Sonication of mitochondria containing carbonic anhydrase activity releases the enzyme, which remains in the supernatant after sedimentation of the submitochondrial particles. This shows that mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase is in the matrix compartment and not in, or bound to, the inner membrane. The activity of the enzyme increases markedly with increasing pH. The enzyme activity of intact mitochondria is greater than that of the broken mitochondria at the same pH of the suspending fluid, corresponding to an intramitochondrial pH that is 0.2-0.5 unit more alkaline.