First isolated in the fly and now characterised in vertebrates, the Slit proteins have emerged as pivotal components controlling the guidance of axonal growth cones and the directional migration of neuronal precursors. As well as extensive expression during development of the central nervous system (CNS), the Slit proteins exhibit a striking array of expression sites in non-neuronal tissues, including the urogenital system, limb primordia and developing eye. Zebrafish Slit has been shown to mediate mesodermal migration during gastrulation, while Drosophila slit guides the migration of mesodermal cells during myogenesis. This suggests that the actions of these secreted molecules are not simply confined to the sphere of CNS development, but rather act in a more general fashion during development and throughout the lifetime of an organism. This review focuses on the non-neuronal activities of Slit proteins, highlighting a common role for the Slit family in cellular migration.