LIM-domain proteins are a large family of proteins that are emerging as key molecules in a wide variety of human cancers. In particular, all members of the human LIM-domain-only (LMO) proteins, LMO1-4, which are required for many developmental processes, are implicated in the onset or the progression of several cancers, including T cell leukaemia, breast cancer and neuroblastoma. These small proteins contain two protein-interacting LIM domains but little additional sequence, and they seem to function by nucleating the formation of new transcriptional complexes and/or by disrupting existing transcriptional complexes to modulate gene expression programmes. Through these activities, the LMO proteins have important cellular roles in processes that are relevant to cancer such as self-renewal, cell cycle regulation and metastasis. These functions highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting these proteins in cancer. ? 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.