Barley alpha-amylase 1 (AMY1) hydrolyzed amylose with a degree of multiple attack (DMA) of 1.9; that is, on average, 2.9 glycoside bonds are cleaved per productive enzyme-substrate encounter. Six AMY1 mutants, spanning the substrate binding cleft from subsites -6 to +4, and a fusion protein, AMY1-SBD, of AMY1 and the starch binding domain (SBD) of Aspergillus niger glucoamylase were also analyzed. DMA of the subsite -6 mutant Y105A and AMY1-SBD increased to 3.3 and 3.0, respectively. M53E, M298S, and T212W at subsites -2, +1/+2, and +4, respectively, and the double mutant Y105A/T212W had decreased DMA of 1.0-1.4. C95A (subsite -5) had a DMA similar to that of wild type. Maltoheptaose (G7) was always the major initial oligosaccharide product. Wild-type and the subsite mutants released G6 at 27-40%, G8 at 60-70%, G9 at 39-48%, and G10 at 33-44% of the G7 rate, whereas AMY1-SBD more efficiently produced G8, G9, and G10 at rates similar to, 66%, and 60% of G7, respectively. In contrast, the shorter products appeared with large individual differences: G1, 0-15%; G2, 8-43%; G3, 0-22%; and G4, 0-11% of the G7 rate. G5 was always a minor product. Multiple attack thus involves both longer translocation of substrate in the binding cleft upon the initial cleavage to produce G6-G10, essentially independent of subsite mutations, and short-distance moves resulting in individually very different rates of release of G1-G4. Accordingly, the degree of multiple attack as well as the profile of products can be manipulated by structural changes in the active site or by introduction of extra substrate binding sites.