Do inducers of apoptosis trigger caspase-independent cell death?

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Mar;6(3):268-75. doi: 10.1038/nrm1573.


Apoptotic cell death is mediated by molecular pathways that culminate in the activation of a family of cysteine proteases, known as the caspases, which orchestrate the dismantling and clearance of the dying cell. However, mounting evidence indicates that a cell that has been treated with an apoptotic inducer can also initiate a suicide programme that does not rely on caspase activation. Here, we present recent findings and discuss the physiological relevance of caspase-independent cell death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Caspases / physiology*
  • DNA Damage / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / physiology


  • Caspases