It is becoming increasingly clear that the complex machines involved in transcription and translation, the two major activities leading to gene expression, communicate directly with one another by sharing proteins. For some proteins, such as ribosomal proteins S10 and L4, there is strong evidence of their participation in both processes, and much is known about their role in both activities. The exact roles and interactions of other proteins, such as Nus factors B and G, in both transcription and translation remain a mystery. Although there are not, at present, many examples of such shared proteins, the importance of understanding their behavior and intimate involvement with two major cellular machines is beginning to be appreciated. Studies related to the dual activities of these proteins and searches for more examples of proteins shared between the transcription and translation machines should lead to a better understanding of the communication between these two activities and the purposes it serves.