• apoptosis;
  • MFC-7 breast carcinoma;
  • TNF-α;
  • tyrphostin AG213;
  • non-apoptotic programmed cell death


Apoptosis is a specific mode of programmed cell death (PCD), recognized by characteristic morphological and molecular changes. Here we present evidence for a non-apoptotic type of PCD in human MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells. We used TNF-α and tyrphostin AG213 to induce apoptotic and non-apoptotic cell death respectively in vitro. Microscopic and immunohistochemical studies, together with DNA analysis and flow cytometric analysis of p53 and bcl-2 oncogene expression, revealed some novel characteristics of non-apoptotic cell death. We show here for the first time some of the biochemical features of an experimentally induced non-apoptotic PCD and emphasize the distinct biochemical events leading to apoptotic and non-apoptotic PCD.