AAT Bioquest

What are the most common types of cell death?

Posted October 14, 2022


The most common types of cell death are apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy, and entosis. Apoptosis is classified as type I cell death and is the fastest type of cell death. Apoptosis is programmed cell death and is moderated by proteolytic enzymes known as caspases. The proteolytic caspase cascade initiates cell death through cleaving proteins in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Autophagy is classified as type II cell death, and is the degradation process to eliminate dysfunctional organelles, damaged proteins, and begins with the creation of an autophagosome. Necrosis is classified as type III cell death and has a wide variety of cell death processes such as pyroptosis and necroptosis. Necrosis occurs when there is not enough blood or oxygen flow to a tissue and as a result, kills cells and tissues prematurely. Entosis is classified as type IV cell death and refers to the invasion of a living cell into another cell’s cytoplasm (cell-in-cell mechanism). It requires engulfing cells to carry out cell death.             

Additional resources

Classification of cell death

Apoptosis and Necrosis

Cell Meter™ Apoptotic and Necrotic Multiplexing Detection Kit I *Triple Fluorescence Colors*