The latter stages of the catalytic cycle of the light-driven enzyme, protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase, have been investigated using novel laser photoexcitation methods. The formation of the ternary product complex was initiated with a 6-ns laser pulse, which allowed the product release steps to be kinetically accessed for the first time. Subsequent absorbance changes associated with the release of the NADP+ and chlorophyllide products from the enzyme could be followed on a millisecond timescale. This has facilitated a detailed kinetic and thermodynamic characterization for the interconversion of all the various bound and unbound product species. Initially, NADP+ is released from the enzyme in a biphasic process with rate constants of 1210 and 237 s-1. The rates of both phases show a significant dependence on the viscosity of the solvent and become considerably slower at higher glycerol concentrations. The fast phase of this process exhibits no dependence on NADP+ concentration, suggesting that conformational changes are required prior to NADP+ release. Following NADP+ release, the NADPH rebinds to the enzyme with a maximum rate constant of ∼72 s-1. At elevated temperatures (>298 K) chlorophyllide is released from the enzyme to yield the free product with a maximum rate constant of 20 s-1. The temperature dependencies of the rates of each of these steps were measured, and enthalpies and entropies of activation were calculated using the Eyring equation. A comprehensive kinetic and thermodynamic scheme for these final stages of the reaction mechanism is presented. © 2007 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.