<P> A function of the kidney is elimination of a variety of xenobiotics ingested and wasted endogenous compounds from the body. Organic anion and cation transport systems play important roles to protect the body from harmful substances. The renal proximal tubule is the primary site of carrier-mediated transport from blood into urine. During the last decade, molecular cloning has identified several families of multispecific organic anion and cation transporters, such as organic anion transporter (OAT), organic cation transporter (OCT), and organic anion-transporting polypeptide (oatp). Additional findings also suggested ATP-dependent organic ion transporters such as MDR1/P-glycoprotein and the multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) as efflux pump. The substrate specificity of these transporters is multispecific. These transporters also play an important role as drug transporters. Studies on their functional properties and localization provide information in renal handling of drugs. This review summarizes the latest knowledge on molecular properties and pharmacological significance of renal organic ion transporters.