Secretory granule formation requires selection of soluble and membrane proteins into nascent secretory granules, and exclusion of proteins not required for the function of secretory granules. Both selection and exclusion presumably can occur in the compartment where assembly of the secretory granule begins, the trans most cisternae of the Golgi complex. Current research focused on the initial stages of secretory granule formation includes a search for the 'signals' which may mediate active sorting of components into secretory granules, and the role of aggregation of regulated secretory proteins in sorting. In addition, the temporal sequence of the sorting events in the Golgi, and post-Golgi compartments has gained much attention, as summarized by the alternative but not mutually exclusive 'sorting for entry' vs. 'sorting by retention' models. 'Sorting for entry' which encompasses the most popular models requires selection of cargo and membrane and exclusion of non-secretory granule proteins in the TGN prior to secretory granule formation. 'Sorting by retention' stipulates that protein selection or exclusion may occur after secretory granule formation: secretory granule specific components are retained during maturation of the granule while non-secretory granule molecules are removed in vesicles which bud from maturing secretory granules. Finally, some progress has been made in the identification of cytosolic components involved in the budding of nascent secretory granules from the TGN. This review will focus on the recent data concerning the events in secretory granule formation which occur, in the trans-Golgi network.