Transport of cargo through and from the Golgi complex is mediated by vesicular carriers and transient tubular connections. Two classes of vesicle have been implicated in the biosynthetic or anterograde membrane traffic of this organelle. Both classes of vesicle are coated on the cytoplasmic surface with proteins, of which at least one component is related. Tubular connections also enable exchange of material between membrane-bounded compartments associated with the Golgi complex, most obviously in cells that have been treated with the drug, brefeldin A. Coat proteins appear to be involved in the regulation of these transport processes. Their putative functions include sorting of cargo, as well as regulation of budding, fusion or targeting of the membrane carriers.