A component of the reticulocyte cell membrane was found to inhibit protein synthesis severely in a reticulocyte lysate system. An investigation into the mode of action of the membrane inhibitor revealed the following facts. (1) The binding of the tertiary initiation complex (methionyl-tRNAfMet-Initiation Factor 2-GTP) to the 40S ribosomal subunit was unaffected by the membrane inhibitor. (2) The membrane component did not interfere with the binding of the 40S initiation complex to the AUG initiation codon and subsequent attachment of the 60S ribosomal subunit. (3) Elongation of the peptide chain, as assayed by peptidyl-puromycin formation, was markedly affected by the membrane inhibitor. Surprisingly, the membrane component caused a considerable increase in peptidyl-puromycin formation. (4) Reticulocyte ribosomes that had been reisolated by high-speed centrifugation, after preincubation with the membrane component, were found to be highly defective when assayed in a cell-free protein-synthesizing system. These results indicated that an extract of the reticulocyte cell membrane inhibited protein synthesis by interacting with the ribosome and thus interfered with the correct functions of the elongation stage of protein synthesis. The implications of this conclusion are discussed in the light of data showing that a highly purified preparation of the membrane inhibitor also displayed an endonucleolytic activity highly specific for 28S RNA.