The multicomponent soluble form of methane monooxygenase (sMMO) catalyzes the oxidation of methane through the activation of O 2 at a nonheme biferrous center in the hydroxylase component, MMOH. Reactivity is limited without binding of the sMMO effector protein, MMOB. Past studies show that mutations of specific MMOB surface residues cause large changes in the rates of individual steps in the MMOH reaction cycle. To define the structural and mechanistic bases for these observations, CD, MCD, and VTVH MCD spectroscopies coupled with ligand-field (LF) calculations are used to elucidate changes occurring near and at the MMOH biferrous cluster upon binding of MMOB and the MMOB variants. Perturbations to both the CD and MCD are observed upon binding wild-type MMOB and the MMOB variant that similarly increases O 2 reactivity. MMOB variants that do not greatly increase O 2 reactivity fail to cause one or both of these changes. LF calculations indicate that reorientation of the terminal glutamate on Fe2 reproduces the spectral perturbations in MCD. Although this structural change allows O 2 to bridge the diiron site and shifts the redox active orbitals for good overlap, it is not sufficient for enhanced O 2 reactivity of the enzyme. Binding of the T111Y-MMOB variant to MMOH induces the MCD, but not CD changes, and causes only a small increase in reactivity. Thus, both the geometric rearrangement at Fe2 (observed in MCD) coupled with a more global conformational change that may control O 2 access (probed by CD), induced by MMOB binding, are critical factors in the reactivity of sMMO.