Molecular physiology of renal organic anion transporters

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2006 Feb;290(2):F251-61. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00439.2004.


Recent advances in molecular biology have identified three organic anion transporter families: the organic anion transporter (OAT) family encoded by SLC22A, the organic anion transporting peptide (OATP) family encoded by SLC21A (SLCO), and the multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) family encoded by ABCC. These families play critical roles in the transepithelial transport of organic anions in the kidneys as well as in other tissues such as the liver and brain. Among these families, the OAT family plays the central role in renal organic anion transport. Knowledge of these three families at the molecular level, such as substrate selectivity, tissue distribution, and gene localization, is rapidly increasing. In this review, we will give an overview of molecular information on renal organic anion transporters and describe recent topics such as the regulatory mechanisms and molecular physiology of urate transport. We will also discuss the physiological roles of each organic anion transporter in the light of the transepithelial transport of organic anions in the kidneys.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / physiology
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Uric Acid / metabolism


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Uric Acid
  • multidrug resistance-associated protein 1