Some proteins and lipids traffic from the plasma membrane to the trans Golgi network (TGN)/Golgi apparatus and the endoplasmic reticulum, via the retrograde transport route. Endosomes are an obligatory through station. Whether early, recycling and late endosomes all hand off material to the TGN have remained a matter of debate. In this review, we give a short historical overview on how retrograde transport was discovered and explored. We then summarize and critically discuss data that have been put forward in favour of the existence of trafficking interfaces between each of the different endocytic localizations and the TGN. We finally point out some conceptual and technological challenges that will have to be met to establish definite conclusions for each of these scenarios.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.