Jurkat T-lymphocytes lack p53 and Bax but contain p73 and Bid and are killed by etoposide (ETO). With ETO c-abl is phosphorylated and phosphorylated p73 increased. Translocation of full-length Bid to mitochondria follows, with induction of the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) and release of cytochrome c into the cytosol. Pronounced swelling of mitochondria was evident ultrastructurally, and the MPT inhibitor cyclosporin A prevented the release of cytochrome c. Overexpression of Bcl-2 prevented the translocation of Bid, the release of cytochrome c, and cell death. The pan-caspase inhibitor ZVAD-FMK prevented the cell killing, but not the initial release of cytochrome c. An accumulation of tBid occurred at later times in association with Bid degradation. A sequence is proposed that couples DNA damage to Bid translocation via activation of c-abl and p73. Bid translocation induces the MPT, the event that causes release of cytochrome c, activation of caspases, and cell death. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.