COPI vesicles mediate Golgi-to-ER recycling, but COPI vesicle arrival sites at the ER have been poorly defined. We explored this issue using the yeast Pichia pastoris. ER arrival sites (ERAS) can be visualized by labeling COPI vesicle tethers such as Tip20. Our results place ERAS at the periphery of COPII-labeled ER export sites (ERES). The dynamics of ERES and ERAS are indistinguishable, indicating that these structures are tightly coupled. Displacement or degradation of Tip20 does not alter ERES organization, whereas displacement or degradation of either COPII or COPI components disrupts ERAS organization. We infer that Golgi compartments form at ERES and then produce COPI vesicles to generate ERAS. As a result, ERES and ERAS are functionally linked to create bidirectional transport portals at the ER–Golgi interface. COPI vesicles likely become tethered while they bud, thereby promoting efficient retrograde transport. In mammalian cells, the Tip20 homologue RINT1 associates with ERES, indicating possible conservation of the link between ERES and ERAS.

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