Direct visualization of a transmembrane channel associated with ribosomes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Examination of directly frozen rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of retinal pigment epithelial cells by freeze-fracture and freeze-substitution revealed distinct paired transmembrane proteins associated with membrane ribosomes. Ribosomal subunits on intact ER membrane are directly visualized for the first time, providing a global view of the structure of the ribosome and the corresponding structures on the ER membrane. The ribosomal intersubunit cleft appears to be continuous with a cleft between paired transmembrane proteins that extends into the lumen of the ER. This continuous cleft may be the path taken by nascent polypeptides.

publication date

  • May 1996