In recent years, luminescent proteins have been studied for their potential application in a variety of detection systems. Bioluminescent proteins, which do not require an external excitation source, are especially well-suited as reporters in analytical detection. The photoprotein aequorin is a bioluminescent protein that can be engineered for use as a molecular reporter under a wide range of conditions while maintaining its sensitivity. Herein, the characteristics of aequorin as well as the engineering and production of aequorin variants and their impact on signal detection in biological systems are presented. The structural features and activity of aequorin, its benefits as a label for sensing and applications in highly sensitive detection, as well as in gaining insight into biological processes are discussed. Among those, focus has been placed on the highly sensitive calcium detection in vivo, in vitro DNA and small molecule sensing, and development of in vivo imaging technologies.