The mitochondrial ubiquinol-cytochrome c oxidoreductase (complex III) is inhibited by ethoxyformic anhydride (EFA). The inhibition is readily reversed by hydroxylamine, suggesting the involvement of essential histidyl or possibly tyrosyl residues. The spectrum of ethoxyformylated complex III in the UV region showed a peak at 238 nm, indicative of N-(ethoxyformyl)histidine. Addition of hydroxylamine caused a large decrease of the 238-nm peak, which amounted to 16 mol of (ethoxyformyl)histidine/mol of cytochrome c1. Hydroxylamine addition to ethoxyformylated complex III also caused a small change at about 280 nm, which could be due to reversal of 1.6 O-ethoxyformylated tyrosyl residues/mol of cytochrome c1. Among many inhibitors of the cytochrome bc1 region of the respiratory chain, EFA is the only reagent known to cause reversible inhibition by covalent modification of amino acid residues. The inhibition site of EFA was determined to be between cytochromes b-562 and c1. However, unlike antimycin, which also inhibits in the same region, EFA did not promote the reduction of cytochrome b-566 in particles treated with substrates. In addition, it was found that EFA inhibits proton translocation in the cytochrome bc1 region and is a more effective electron transport inhibitor when added to reduced particles as compared to oxidized particles. These results together with the strong possibility that the EFA target is a histidyl or possibly a tyrosyl residue have been discussed in relation to the mechanism of proton translocation by complex III.