We have isolated and sequenced a human heart cDNA clone encoding a novel LIM-only protein. This full-length cDNA clone has a predicted open reading frame (ORF) encoding 280 amino acids. The ORF of this cDNA codes for a LIM-only protein that possesses four repeats of LIM domain and an extra zinc finger and this putative protein is named four-and-a-half LIM domain protein 1 (FHL1). FHL1 is unique when compared with other LIM-only proteins because it possesses an odd number of zinc fingers. When the FHL1 cDNA probe was used to hybridize with poly-(A) RNA of various human tissues, a very strong signal was detected in skeletal muscle, a moderate one in the heart; only weak signals were associated with the placenta, ovary, prostate, testis, small intestine, colon and spleen, and virtually no signal could be detected in brain, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, thymus and peripheral blood leukocytes. The FHL1 gene was located to human chromosome at Xq27.2 by somatic cell hybrid mapping, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and radiation hybrid mapping.