The presence of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (InsP3R), calreticulin, and calsequestrin was demonstrated in eggs of sea urchins (Lytechinus pictus, Lytechinus variegatus, and Strongylocentroutus purpuratus) and Xenopus laevis. Binding of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) to microsomes of L. pictus eggs was inhibited by heparin and NaCl. An affinity-purified antibody against the C-terminal of the type I InsP3R, which recognizes InsP3R isoforms of rabbit brain (273 kDa) and Xenopus oocytes and eggs (256 kDa), reacted with a 373-kDa protein in sea urchin eggs. The 373-kDa protein was tentatively identified as the sea urchin egg InsP3R. Observations with fluorescence microscopy indicated that the InsP3R is present throughout the cytoplasm of sea urchin eggs in a pattern consistent with the distribution of endoplasmic reticulum. Small differences in the relative amount of reaction deposits in cortex vs subcortex were noted among the species of sea urchins examined. Reaction product was also localized to the periphery of female pronuclei in eggs of all three sea urchins. InsP3R reactivity was present in the perinuclear region, along the periphery of the germinal vesicle, and throughout the animal and vegetal hemispheres of Xenopus oocytes. A similar cytoplasmic staining pattern was also observed in eggs, although islands of reactivity, much larger than those in oocytes, were present in the animal hemisphere of eggs. Calreticulin and calsequestrin in sea urchin eggs had the same molecular mass as in rabbit brain (56 and 60 kDa, respectively), but differed from those present in Xenopus oocytes/eggs (61 and 57 kDa, respectively). The distribution of calreticulin and calsequestrin in both sea urchin and Xenopus oocytes and eggs was similar to that observed for the InsP3R. These results are discussed in relation to previous studies of Ca2+ regulation during egg development and fertilization and suggest that in the oocytes and eggs of the species examined, InsP3-sensitive Ca2+ stores play an important role in the regulation of cellular Ca2+.