The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) Nomenclature Committee Database provides a list of transporter families of the solute carrier (SLC) gene series (see http://www.gene.ucl.ac.uk/nomenclature/. Currently, it includes 43 families and 298 transporter genes. This special issue features mini-reviews on each of these SLC families written by the experts in each field. A WEB site has been established (http://www.pharmaconference.org/ slctable.asp) that gives the latest updates for the SLC families and their members as well as relevant links to gene databases and reviews in the literature. A list of all currently known SLC families, a discussion of additional SLC families and family members as well as a brief summary of non-SLC transporter genes is included in this introduction.