additional polypeptide sequence of 25 to 30 residues at the amino-terminal or carboxy-terminal end of proteins. The signal sequence signals the cellular fate or destination of a newly synthesised protein directing it to its ultimate destination in the cell. These leaders are recognised by the signal recognition particle and bound by specific receptor sites on the outer surface of the endoplasmic reticulum. They are then transported into the cisterna of the endoplasmic reticulum and from there directed to their ultimate destination in the cell. In prokaryotes, the signal peptides attach to the plasma membrane. These signal sequences are ultimately removed by specific peptidases.