Ingested DNA

I just ate some DNA.

From what I understand, this DNA will be broken down into nucleotides. These nucleotides will then be incorporated into my tissue.

What specific digestive enzyme catalyzes the decomposition of DNA into its respective nucleotides?

How did it taste?

Well, the 5-carbon sugar was quite sweet, but the base tasted like soap. Overall it tasted acidic - very tart!

DNAse is the generic term for any enzyme that cuts DNA. We have loads of them.

Which digestive organ secrets DNAse?

Probably all of them. There’s DNase in saliva and pancreatic fluid, at the very least.

Like chicken.

You realize, of course, that DNA is present in virtually everything you eat, right?

I expected a NSFW thread. Oh well, back to work.

DNA is, for the purposes of digestion, basically a protein. Proteins are broken down into amino acids by digestion, so it’s not surprising that the body would have a mechanism for it. (There’s no need to break the structure down to nucleotides, therefore.) Especially since, as Smeghead said, it will be in practically every cell of every animal and plant food that we eat. And in every single-celled organism that is inhabiting all that food.

The flip side is that the quantity of DNA is so tiny that it’s interesting the body even bothered to develop specialized enzymes to digest it. One estimate I’ve seen is that there is 6 x 10[sup]-12[/sup] grams of DNA per human cell. Of course, there are a lot of cells in the human body so eventually that could add up to a gram. You’d have to chew through a sizable quantity of food to do so. The size of DNA varies among other living creatures but this gives a ballpark for it.

Nobody actually tastes DNA, of course. Even if you’re tasting seminal fluid, the DNA is swamped by the other substances that make up the fluid portion.

Pancreatic nucleases split DNA and RNA into nucleotides. Membrane-bound nucleotidases in the epithelial cells of the ileum digest the nucleotides to sugar, base and phosphate, which are absorbed.

What’s the conclusion? Given sufficient (how much?) DNA source material that new DNA --from a lover’s kiss, say–would get into the reproductive gene line of the receiver? None, because they’re absorbed? What a waste. Sex, cloning is so yesterday.