Recent technological advances have made it possible to decode DNA methylomes at single-base-pair resolution under various physiological conditions. Many aberrant or differentially methylated sites have been discovered, but the mechanisms by which changes in DNA methylation lead to observed phenotypes, such as cancer, remain elusive. The classical view of methylation-mediated protein-DNA interactions is that only proteins with a methyl-CpG binding domain (MBD) can interact with methylated DNA. However, evidence is emerging to suggest that transcription factors lacking a MBD can also interact with methylated DNA. The identification of these proteins and the elucidation of their characteristics and the biological consequences of methylation-dependent transcription factor-DNA interactions are important stepping stones towards a mechanistic understanding of methylation-mediated biological processes, which have crucial implications for human development and disease.