LIM domain only 2 (LMO2) proteins are important regulators in determining cell fate and controlling cell growth and differentiation. This study has investigated LMO2 expression in human prostatic tissue specimens, prostate cancer cell lines, and xenografts; and has assessed the possible role and mechanism of LMO2 in prostate carcinogenesis. Immunohistochemical analysis on a tissue microarray consisting of 91 human prostate specimens, including normal, prostatic hyperplasia, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, and invasive carcinoma, revealed that overexpression of LMO2 was significantly associated with advanced tumour stage, as measured by Gleason score (p = 0.012), as well as with the development of distant metastasis (p = 0.018). These data were supported by quantitative real-time PCR experiments, where LMO2 mRNA levels were found to be significantly higher in prostate tumour specimen than in normal epithelium (p = 0.037). The expression of LMO2 in cell lines and xenografts representing androgen-dependent (AD) and androgen-independent (AI) prostate cancer stages was further studied. Consistent with the in vivo data, LMO2 mRNA and protein were found to be overexpressed in the more aggressive AI cells (PC3, DU145, and AI CWR22 xenografts) compared with less aggressive AD cells (LNCaP and AD CWR22 xenografts). Furthermore, stable introduction of LMO2 into LNCaP cells conferred enhanced cell motility and invasiveness in vitro, accompanied by down-regulation of E-cadherin expression. Taken together, these findings provide the first evidence to support the hypothesis that LMO2 may play an important role in prostate cancer progression, possibly via repression of E-cadherin expression. Copyright © 2006 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.