Organic anion transporter polypeptides (OATPs) mediate the transmembrane uptake of endogenous compounds and clinically important drugs in various tissues thereby effecting drug disposition and tissue penetration. OATPs have also been identified in gastric, pancreatic and colon carcinomas but little is known about their expression in breast carcinoma. We therefore analyzed the expression pattern of all 11 known OATPs in three breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, ZR-75-1, MDA-MB-231) and one immortalized breast epithelial cell line (MCF-10A) using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Transcripts of 7/11 OATP genes with heterogeneity in their expression profile were detected in control and/or cancer cell lines. Of these seven OATPs, five were also expressed in breast tumor and adjacent non-tumorous specimens from 13 patients. OATP2B1, not found in the analyzed cell lines, was verified in the tissue samples. Interestingly, mRNA expression of OATP2B1, OPATP3A1 and OATP4A1 was significantly higher (p < 0.022) in non-malignant specimens as compared to tumor tissue samples.