Epidemiological studies indicate that 17β-estradiol (E2) prevents colorectal cancer (CRC). Organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs) are involved in the cellular uptake of various endogenous and exogenous substrates, including hormone conjugates. Because transfer of estrone sulfate (E1-S) can contribute to intra-tissue conversion of estrone to the biologically active form -E2, it is evident that the expression patterns of OATPs may be relevant to the analysis of CRC incidence and therapy. We therefore evaluated DNA methylation and transcript levels of two members of the OATP family, OATP3A1 and OATP4A1, that may be involved in E1-S transport in colorectal cancer patients. We detected a significant reduction in OATP3A1 and a significant increase in OATP4A1 mRNA levels in cancerous tissue, compared with histopathologically unchanged tissue (n=103). Moreover, we observed DNA hypermethylation in the OATP3A1 promoter region in a small subset of CRC patients and in HCT116 and Caco-2 colorectal cancer cell lines. We also observed increased OATP3A1 transcript following treatment with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine and sodium butyrate. The OATP4A1 promoter region was hypomethylated in analyzed tissues and CRC cell lines and was not affected by these treatments. Our results suggest a potential mechanism for OATP3A1 downregulation that involves DNA methylation during colorectal carcinogenesis.