All of the members of this family are thought to facilitate zinc efflux from the cytoplasm either into various intracellular compartments (endosomes, secretory granules, synaptic vesicles, Golgi apparatus, or trans-Golgi network) or across the plasma membrane. Thus, these transporters are thought to help maintain zinc homeostasis and facilitate transport of zinc into specialized intracellular compartments. Counterparts of the SLC30 family are found in all organisms. Most of the members of this class are predicted to have 6 transmembrane domains with both N- and C-termini on the cytoplasmic side of the membrane. Expression of rodent Znt1, Znt2 or Znt4 cDNAs in mammalian cells can confer resistance to zinc toxicity. Loss of function of the mouse Znt1 is embryonic lethal, loss of mouse Znt3 prevents accumulation of zinc in synaptic vesicles, nonfunctional mouse Znt4 ( lethal milk) results in zinc-deficient milk, and Znt5-null mice display bone abnormalities and heart failure. No mutations in human counterparts of any of the members of the SLC30 family have been described.