In the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of human cells, ERO1α and protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI) constitute one of the major electron flow pathways that catalyze oxidative folding of secretory proteins. Specific and limited PDI oxidation by ERO1α is essential to avoid ER hyperoxidation. To investigate how ERO1α oxidizes PDI selectively among more than 20 ER-resident PDI family member proteins, we performed docking simulations and systematic biochemical analyses. Our findings reveal that a protruding β-hairpin of ERO1α specifically interacts with the hydrophobic pocket present in the redox-inactive PDI b′-domain through the stacks between their aromatic residues, leading to preferred oxidation of the C-terminal PDI a′-domain. ERO1α associated preferentially with reduced PDI, explaining the stepwise disulfide shuttle mechanism, first from ERO1α to PDI and then from oxidized PDI to an unfolded polypeptide bound to its hydrophobic pocket. The interaction of ERO1α with ERp44, another PDI family member protein, was also analyzed. Notably, ERO1α-dependent PDI oxidation was inhibited by a hyperactive ERp44 mutant that lacks the C-terminal tail concealing the substrate-binding hydrophobic regions. The potential ability of ERp44 to inhibit ERO1α activity may suggest its physiological role in ER redox and protein homeostasis.