The purine salvage pathway plays a major role in the nucleotide production, relying on the supply of nucleobases and nucleosides from extracellular sources. Although specific transporters have been suggested to be involved in facilitating their transport across the plasma membrane in mammals, those which are specifically responsible for utilization of extracellular nucleobases remain unknown. Here we present the molecular and functional characterization of SLC43A3, an orphan transporter belonging to an amino acid transporter family, as a purine-selective nucleobase transporter. SLC43A3 was highly expressed in the liver, where it was localized to the sinusoidal membrane of hepatocytes, and the lung. In addition, SLC43A3 expressed in MDCKII cells mediated the uptake of purine nucleobases such as adenine, guanine, and hypoxanthine without requiring typical driving ions such as Na + and H + , but it did not mediate the uptake of nucleosides. When SLC43A3 was expressed in APRT/HPRT1-deficient A9 cells, adenine uptake was found to be low. However, it was markedly enhanced by the introduction of SLC43A3 with APRT. In HeLa cells, knock-down of SLC43A3 markedly decreased adenine uptake. These data suggest that SLC43A3 is a facilitative and purine-selective nucleobase transporter that mediates the cellular uptake of extracellular purine nucleobases in cooperation with salvage enzymes.