Five isoforms of tropomyosin, designated as TMa, TMb, TMc, TMd, and TMe, were detected in the sea anemone, Anthopleura japonica. The apparent molecular weights of these isoforms were estimated to be approximately 30 kD to 37.5 kD, and their pI values were approximately 4.55 (TMa and TMb) and 4.65 (TMc, TMd, and TMe). Although sea anemone tropomyosin isoforms have the ability to bind to rabbit skeletal muscle actin, they preferably bind to actin at higher concentrations of Mg(2+) (10-20 mM) and slightly lower pH (6.2-7.2) than those used in conventional conditions. Antigenic properties of sea anemone tropomyosin seemed to be considerably specific to each isoform. Distribution of tropomyosin isoforms in the sea anemone body was somewhat portion-specific. TMa, TMb, and TMe were detected similarly in the extracts from tentacle, oral disc, column, mouth, and pedal disc. Although TMc and TMd were detected abundantly in the tentacle extract and moderately in the column and mouth extracts, these components were not contained in the pedal disc extract and detected only faintly in the oral disc extract.