A generally applicable method for the determination of the spatial structure of the heme iron-bound methionine in c-type ferrocytochromes at atomic resolution is presented. It relies primarily on measurements of nuclear Overhauser effects between the individual hydrogen atoms of the axial methionine, and between individual hydrogens of the methionine and the heme group. Four different methionine conformers, corresponding to the four possible stereospecific assignments for the methionine methylene proton resonances, are generated by a structural interpretation of the nuclear Overhauser effects with the use of an interactive computer graphics technique. A unique structure and unique stereospecific resonance assignments are then obtained by discriminating between these four conformers on the basis of van der Waals' constraints and heme ring current effects on the chemical shifts. The use of the method is illustrated with studies of horse ferrocytochrome c and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ferrocytochrome c 551. Comparison with the crystal structures shows close coincidence between the methionine conformations in solution and in single crystals of these proteins.