The SLC39 gene family encode zinc transporters belonging to the ZIP (Zrt-, Irt-like proteins) family of metal ion transporters. All ZIPs transport metal ions into the cytoplasm of cells, be it across cellular membranes or from intracellular compartments. To date, there are 14 human SLC39 genes that encode the zinc transporters hZIP1-14. There are 9 members which belong to a subfamily of the ZIPs called the LZTs (LIV-1 subfamily of ZIP zinc transporters) (Taylor KM and Nicholson RI, 2003). Of these 14 proteins, four (hZIP9, 11, 12 and 13) have no function determined yet (Eide DJ, 2004).