Human cytochrome P450 (P450) 1A2 is involved in the oxidation of many important drugs and carcinogens. The prototype substrate phenacetin is oxidized to an acetol as well as the O-dealkylation product [Yun, C.-H., Miller, G. P., and Guengerich, F. P. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 11319-11329]. In an effort to improve rates of catalysis of P450 1A2 enzymes, we considered a set of p-alkoxyacylanilide analogues of phenacetin and found that variations in the O-alkyl and N-acyl substituents altered the rates of the two oxidation reactions and the ratio of acetol/phenol products. Moving one methylene group of phenacetin from the O-alkyl group to the N-acyl moiety increased rates of both oxidations approximately 5-fold and improved the coupling efficiency (oxidation products formed/NADPH consumed) from 6% to 38%. Noncompetitive kinetic deuterium isotope effects of 2-3 were measured for all O-dealkylation reactions examined with wild-type P450 1A2 and the E225I mutant, which has 6-fold higher activity. A trend of decreasing kinetic deuterium isotope effect for E225I > wild-type > mutant D320A was observed for O-demethylation of p-methoxyacetanilide, which follows the trend for k(cat). The set of O-dealkylation and acetol formation results for wild-type P450 1A2 and the E225I mutant with several of the protiated and deuterated substrates were fit to a model developed for the basic catalytic cycle and a set of microscopic rate constants in which the only variable was the rate of product formation (substrate oxygenation, including hydrogen abstraction). In this model, k(cat) is considerably less than any of the microscopic rate constants and is affected by several individual rate constants, including the rate of formation of the oxygenating species, the rate of substrate oxidation by the oxygenating species, and the rates of generation of reduced oxygen species (H(2)O(2), H(2)O). This analysis of the effects of the individual rate constants provides a framework for consideration of other P450 reactions and rate-limiting steps.