The kinetics of oxidation of eight different singly substituted 4-carboxy-2,6-dinitrophenyl (CDNP) horse ferrocytochromes c, modified at lysine 7, 13, 25, 27, 60, 72, 86, or 87, and of one trinitrophenyl horse ferrocytochrome c, modified at lysine 13, by the 3- and 3+ inorganic complexes hexacyanoferrate(III) (Fe(CN)6(3-) ) and tris(1,10-phenanthroline)cobalt(III) (Co(phen)3(3+) ) have been characterized. The influence of the modified residues on the bimolecular rate constants for these reactions define the protein molecular surface involved. The site of electron exchange for both oxidants appears to be the solvent accessible edge of the heme prosthetic group or a closely related structure on the "front" surface of the molecule. The reaction with Fe(CN)6(3-) is most strongly influenced by modification of lysine 72, a residue to the left of the exposed heme edge. (CDNP lysine 72 cytochrome c yields a 3.6-fold decrease in the bimolecular rate constant, as compared to that for the native protein.) However, it is the region around lysine 27, to the right of the heme edge, that is most influential in the reaction with Co(phen)3(3+). (CDNP-lysine 27 cytochrome c exhibits a 7.3-fold increase in the rate constant, as compared to that for the native protein.) The kinetics of reaction of the CDNP-lysine 13, 60, 72, and 87 modified cytochromes c with Fe(CN)5(4-aminopyridine)2- as oxidant and Fe(CN)5(4-aminopyridine)3- and Fe(CN)5-(imidazole)3- as reductants have also been determined and further illustrate the influence of electrostatics on the kinetics of such protein-small molecule electron exchanges.