In vitro assembled yeast ribosome-nascent chain complexes (RNCs) containing a signal sequence in the nascent chain were immunopurified and reconstituted with the purified protein-conducting channel (PCC) of yeast endoplasmic reticulum, the Sec61 complex. A cryo-EM reconstruction of the RNC-Sec61 complex at 15.4 A resolution shows a tRNA in the P site. Distinct rRNA elements and proteins of the large ribosomal subunit form four connections with the PCC across a gap of about 10-20 A. Binding of the PCC influences the position of the highly dynamic rRNA expansion segment 27. The RNC-bound Sec61 complex has a compact appearance and was estimated to be a trimer. We propose a binary model of cotranslational translocation entailing only two basic functional states of the translating ribosome-channel complex.