The LIM domain: from the cytoskeleton to the nucleus

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Nov;5(11):920-31. doi: 10.1038/nrm1499.


First described 15 years ago as a cysteine-rich sequence that was common to a small group of homeodomain transcription factors, the LIM domain is now recognized as a tandem zinc-finger structure that functions as a modular protein-binding interface. LIM domains are present in many proteins that have diverse cellular roles as regulators of gene expression, cytoarchitecture, cell adhesion, cell motility and signal transduction. An emerging theme is that LIM proteins might function as biosensors that mediate communication between the cytosolic and the nuclear compartments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Cytoskeleton / chemistry*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Cysteine