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Mature mammalian RBCs have all the characteristics of a eukaryotic cell except that they don't have a nucleus, they don't have any cell organelles. Does this mean that RBCs are classified as prokaryotic?

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No. Nobody considers red blood cells to be prokaryotic, perhaps most importantly because they are part of a eukaryotic organism. Red blood cells begin life with the full complement of organelles, including a nucleus and mitochondria, but our RBCs shed their organelles during maturation. In actuality, though, only mammalian RBCs lack nuclei; other animals' RBCs still hold on to their traditional eukaryotic characteristics.

As an analogy, apoptotic or necrotic cells don't have intact organelles, but they are still considered eukaryotic.

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No. Prokaryotes have DNA. Mature RBCs don't. And RBCs cannot divide since they lack DNA.

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By that logic, you wouldn't even call them cells, would you? – Amory Sep 13 '13 at 15:15
Why not? The term 'cell' in its broader meaning can certainly be used. If that is not acceptable consider reusing the term corpuscles. Anyway 'what is in a name' the point is what it is and what it is not. A perfectly innocent gene is given the sinister name proto-oncogene. Eventhough there is a logical explanation why the term came about. For a rational person who are not familiar, it may sound illogical. – Ram Manohar M Sep 14 '13 at 3:39
That would mean, technically, that RBC's are not even alive, since hereditary material is a necessity for life. – Gerard Sep 15 '13 at 14:24
@ Gerad. Why should everything be black and white? Why not the greys in between. if someone is expected to answer that- one has to define what is 'alive'. If alive means 'functional' in that organism then yes it is alive as would be platelets. Basically at a certain point you should not be constrained by definitions. – Ram Manohar M Sep 16 '13 at 17:00

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