Molecular mechanisms of cell death: recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death 2018 Review uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Over the past decade, the Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death (NCCD) has formulated guidelines for the definition and interpretation of cell death from morphological, biochemical, and functional perspectives. Since the field continues to expand and novel mechanisms that orchestrate multiple cell death pathways are unveiled, we propose an updated classification of cell death subroutines focusing on mechanistic and essential (as opposed to correlative and dispensable) aspects of the process. As we provide molecularly oriented definitions of terms including intrinsic apoptosis, extrinsic apoptosis, mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT)-driven necrosis, necroptosis, ferroptosis, pyroptosis, parthanatos, entotic cell death, NETotic cell death, lysosome-dependent cell death, autophagy-dependent cell death, immunogenic cell death, cellular senescence, and mitotic catastrophe, we discuss the utility of neologisms that refer to highly specialized instances of these processes. The mission of the NCCD is to provide a widely accepted nomenclature on cell death in support of the continued development of the field.


publication date

  • January 23, 2018



  • Review



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41418-017-0012-4

PubMed ID

  • 29362479

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 56