The cellular decision between apoptosis and autophagy

Yongjun Fan, Erica Ullman, Wei Xing Zong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Programmed cell death was originally described as a cell self-destruction process that plays a crucial role during the development of metazoans. It is responsible for the structural reorganization of embryos and for maintaining tissue homeostasis, by eliminating unwanted or damaged cells. The term “apoptosis” was invented to describe the type of programmed cell death that displays specific microscopic features such as chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation, and plasma membrane blebbing (1). For a good period of time, the terms “apoptosis” and “programmed cell death” were used synonymously, until “autophagic cell death” or “type II programmed cell death” was brought to the attention of the research community. Accordingly, apoptosis is currently referred to as “type I programmed cell death” (2,3).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBeyond Apoptosis
Subtitle of host publicationCellular Outcomes of Cancer Therapy
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781420020502
ISBN (Print)084939192X, 9780849391927
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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