A monoclonal antibody bound to a protein antigen slows the rate of chemical modification of amino acid residues located at the epitope. By comparing the degree of acetylation of 18 lysine and 7 threonine residues in free and antibody-bound horse cytochrome c, a discontiguous, conformational epitope was characterized on this protein antigen. The new approach is particularly suitable to probe discontiguous and conformational epitopes, which are difficult to analyze by other procedures.