The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters constitute a large family of membrane proteins, which transport a variety of compounds through the membrane against a concentration gradient at the cost of ATP hydrolysis. Substrates of the ABC transporters include lipids, bile acids, xenobiotics, and peptides for antigen presentation. As they transport exogenous and endogenous compounds, they reduce the body load of potentially harmful substances. One by-product of such protective function is that they also eliminate various useful drugs from the body, causing drug resistance. This review is a brief summary of the structure, function, and expression of the important drug resistance-conferring members belonging to three subfamilies of the human ABC family; these are ABCB1 (MDR1/P-glycoprotein of subfamily ABCB), subfamily ABCC (MRPs), and ABCG2 (BCRP of subfamily ABCG), which are expressed in various organs. In the text, the transporter symbol that carries the subfamily name (such as ABCB1, ABCC1, etc.) is used interchangeably with the corresponding original names, such as MDR1P-glycoprotein, MRP1, etc., respectively. Both nomenclatures are maintained in the text because both are still used in the transporter literature. This helps readers relate various names that they encounter in the literature. It now appears that P-glycoprotein, MRP1, MRP2, and BCRP can explain the phenomenon of multidrug resistance in all cell lines analyzed thus far. Also discussed are the gene structure, regulation of expression, and various polymorphisms in these genes. Because genetic polymorphism is thought to underlie interindividual differences, including their response to drugs and other xenobiotics, the importance of polymorphism in these genes is also discussed.