Pathways to Cancer: Making the protein

In the cytoplasm, the messenger RNA is released from its carrier proteins and binds to a protein assembly complex called a ribosome (the multicolored structure). This begins a process called translation, where the ribosome reads the information encoded in the RNA and assembles a protein from amino acids found in the cell. Many ribosomes can operate at the same time to make multiple copies of the protein. The ribosomes are anchored on the outer membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. If you look carefully, you can see the ghostly shapes of the newly made proteins accumulating on the inner side of the membrane. Once the job is done, the ribosomes and RNA part company.