Stupid question perhaps but what does happen if one completely removes DNA from a single cell organism? As far as I know DNA is only needed for propagating information to descendants doing it's removed from a grown up cell and put some artificial source of protein there will it just lose ability to mate or will it die immediately?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology! It is helpful when asking questions to do a minimal level of research first to help you focus your question. For instance, there is a huge amount of information if you google "role of DNA in a cell". $\endgroup$ – Maximilian Press May 19 '20 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ @MaximilianPress well, I did actually. I knew from school and from research that DNA is essential for producing proteins and thus life. I should have specified the question perhaps. $\endgroup$ – s0nicYouth May 19 '20 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ @SPr thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$ – s0nicYouth May 19 '20 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ @SPr would suggest putting your comment into an answer. $\endgroup$ – Maximilian Press May 19 '20 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @s0nicYouth I mean... I think with a quick due-diligence search you would have easily found what @S Pr commented. But maybe I am overestimating the usefulness of science information on the internet. $\endgroup$ – Maximilian Press May 19 '20 at 17:20

That depends on the status and activity of the cell. Red blood cells purge their nuclei and DNA contents and continue to perform their function quite well, though they lose their ability to split and form new cells (i.e. are terminally differentiated). Most cells, however, require the genome to transcribe and translate genetic information into protein to maintain their metabolic and functional activities. As you say, DNA would also be required to divide and build new cells, so that would be one major downside of removing all DNA. Adding exogenous proteins or amino acids will not help with ensuring correct protein production and maintenance, because proteins are coded for by mRNA which act as mobile transcripts of DNA. They are dependent on DNA transcription, without which they cannot exist. Proteins do not spontaneously form. Long story short, DNA is almost always absolutely essential, and it is the case that if you removed the nucleus from most cells, they would die very shortly thereafter.

  • $\begingroup$ (migrated comment to answer by request) $\endgroup$ – S Pr Jun 15 '20 at 8:49

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