The effects of citrate ion concentration and pH on the optical spectra and fluorescence decay have been measured for several tyrosine model compounds and lima bean trypsin/chymotrypsin inhibitor, a protein containing one tyrosine at position 69 and seven disulfides but no tryptophan, in order to determine the location and environment of Tyr 69. Tyrosine in the protein is protected from citrate collisional quenching, as indicated by the dynamic quenching constant 9 to 15 times smaller than those for the model peptides. Static quenching remains, with a Stern-Volmer constant of about 1.0 M-1, somewhat smaller than those of L-tyrosine, tyrosine-glutamate, and leucine-tyrosine-leucine. The elevated pKa of Tyr 69, greater than or equal to 11.6, also indicates protein protection from solvent ions. Though Coulomb repulsion of the Glu 70/citrate pair may play a role in the shielding of Tyr 69 from citrate, our measurements indicate that steric effects of the protein structure are more important. Tyrosinate emission in the protein at neutral pH is minimal.