It has been shown that in bovine heart submitochondrial particles, antimycin and 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO) inhibit the oxidation of NADH, succinate, and reduced ubiquinone incompletely, the uninhibited rate being about 20-40 nmol of substrate oxidized min-1 (mg of protein)-1. By contrast, rotenone, cyanide, BAL (2,3-dimercaptopropanol), and 5-n-undecyl-6-hydroxy-4,7-dioxobenzothiazole [Trumpower, B. L., & Haggerty, J. G. (1980) J. Bioenerg. Biomembr. 12, 151-164] caused essentially complete inhibition when added alone or after maximal inhibition by antimycin or HQNO. Having thus ascertained that the electron leak through the antimycin block appeared to follow the normal path through complex III (ubiquinol: cytochrome c oxidoreductase) and cytochrome oxidase, the reduction of the b cytochromes by substrates and their oxidation through the leak in the antimycin block by molecular oxygen were studied. It was shown that at normal electron flux from NADH and succinate, both cytochromes b562 and b566 were reduced in antimycin-treated submitochondrial particles. Their oxidation after substrate exhaustion was biphasic, however. At 565 minus 575 nm, 56% of the total reduced cytochrome b was oxidized through the leak in the antimycin block at a more rapid rate, while the remaining 44% was oxidized about 10 times slower. When electron flux from substrates to complex III was slowed down by the use of inhibitors or substrates at less than or equal to 0.1 Km concentration, then only reduced b562 accumulated in antimycin-treated particles. The oxidation of b562 after substrate exhaustion or inhibition of substrate oxidation by an appropriate inhibitor occurred at a rate comparable to that of the slower reoxidation phase described above. These results indicated, therefore, that cytochromes b566 and b562 are oxidized through the leak in the antimycin block at two different rates, the reoxidation rate of b566 being about 10 times faster than that of b562. The implications of these findings on the kinetic relationship of these two cytochromes in the respiratory chain have been discussed.