Glucose oxidase from the mold Aspergillus niger (EC 22.214.171.124) oxidizes beta-D-glucose with a wide variety of oxidizing substrates. The substrates were divided into three main groups: molecular oxygen, quinones, and one-electron acceptors. The kinetic and chemical mechanism of action for each group of substrates was examined in turn with a wide variety of kinetic methods and by means of molecular modeling of enzyme-substrate complexes. There are two proposed mechanisms for the reductive half-reaction: hydride abstraction and nucleophilic attack followed by deprotonation. The former mechanism appears plausible; here, beta-D-glucose is oxidized to glucono-delta-lactone by a concerted transfer of a proton from its C1-hydroxyl to a basic group on the enzyme (His516) and a direct hydride transfer from its C1 position to the N5 position in FAD. The oxidative half-reaction proceeds via one- or two-electron transfer mechanisms, depending on the type of the oxidizing substrate. The active site of the enzyme contains, in addition to FAD, three amino acid side chains that are intimately involved in catalysis: His516 with a pK(a)=6.9, and Glu412 with pK(a)=3.4 which is hydrogen bonded to His559, with pK(a)>8. The protonation of each of these residues has a strong influence on all rate constants in the catalytic mechanism.