Properties of a recombinant aequorin were investigated in comparison with those of natural aequorin. In chromatographic behaviour the recombinant aequorin did not match any of ten isoaequorins tested, although it was very similar to aequorin J. Its sensitivity to Ca2+ was found to be higher than that of any isoaequorin except aequorin D. The recombinant aequorin exhibited no toxicity when tested in various kinds of cells, even where samples of natural aequorin had been found to be toxic. Properties of four recombinant semi-synthetic aequorins (fch-, hcp-, e- and n-types), prepared from the recombinant apo-aequorin and synthetic analogues of coelenterazine, were approximately parallel with those of corresponding semi-synthetic aequorins prepared from natural apo-aequorin. Both recombinant e-aequorin and natural e-aequorin J luminesced with high values of the luminescence intensity ratio I400/I465, although the ratios were not pCa-dependent. The recombinant aequorin and recombinant semi-synthetic aequorins are highly suited for monitoring cellular Ca2+.