Over the course of more than 500 million years, the kidneys have undergone a remarkable evolution from primitive nephric tubes to intricate filtration-reabsorption systems that maintain homeostasis and remove metabolic end products from the body. The evolutionarily conserved solute carriers Organic Cation Transporter 2 (OCT2), and Organic Anion Transporters 1 and 3 (OAT1/3) coordinate the active secretion of a broad range of endogenous and exogenous substances, many of which accumulate in the blood of patients with kidney failure despite dialysis. Harnessing OCT2 and OAT1/3 through functional preservation or regeneration could alleviate the progression of kidney disease. Additionally, it would improve current in vitro test models that lose their expression in culture. With this review, we explore OCT2 and OAT1/3 regulation using different perspectives: phylogenetic, ontogenetic and cell dynamic. Our aim is to identify possible molecular targets to both help prevent or compensate for the loss of transport activity in patients with kidney disease, and to enable endogenous OCT2 and OAT1/3 induction in vitro in order to develop better models for drug development.