An efficient lepidopteran insect cell system was established for the expression of a recombinant form of chicken egg-white avidin. The gene product was obtained in both secreted and intracellular forms, and biologically active recombinant avidin was isolated using affinity chromatography on an iminobiotin–agarose column. Similar to the known quaternary structure of the native egg-white protein, the purified recombinant protein was glycosylated and assembled mainly into tetramers. Like native avidin, the recombinant tetramer also exhibited a high level of thermostability, and was further stabilized upon binding biotin. The biotin-binding and structural properties of the recombinant avidin are thus similar to those of the natural egg-white protein, and the insect system is appropriate both for future site-directed mutagenesis studies and for the production of avidin fusion proteins.