The cistron DNA is transcribed into the first of a series of RNA intermediates. The last version is used as a template in synthesis of a polypeptide chain. Protein will often be synthesized directly from genes by translating mRNA. However, when a protein must be available on short notice or in large quantities, a protein precursor is produced. A proprotein is an inactive protein containing one or more inhibitory peptides that can be activated when the inhibitory sequence is removed by proteolysis during posttranslational modification. A preprotein is a form that contains a signal sequence (an N-terminal signal peptide) that specifies its insertion into or through membranes, i. e. , targets them for secretion. The signal peptide is cleaved off in the endoplasmic reticulum. Preproproteins have both sequences (inhibitory and signal) still present.