Penta-1,2,3,4,6-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose (PGG) suppresses the in vivo growth of human DU145 and PC-3 prostate cancer xenografts in nude mice, suggesting potential utility as a prostate cancer chemotherapeutic or chemopreventive agent. Our earlier work implicates caspase-mediated apoptosis in DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells as one mechanism for the anticancer activity. We show here that, in the more aggressive PC-3 prostate cancer cell line, PGG induced programmed cell deaths lacking the typical caspase-mediated apoptotic morphology and biochemical changes. In contrast, PGG induced patent features of autophagy, including formation of autophagosomes and lipid modification of light chain 3 after 48 hours of PGG exposure. The "autophagic" responses were also observed in the murine TRAMP-C2 cells. Caspase inhibition exacerbated PGG-induced overall death. As for molecular changes, we observed a rapid inhibition of the phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin-downstream targets S6K and 4EBP1 by PGG in PC-3 and TRAMP-C2 cells but not that ofmammalian target of rapamycin itself, alongwith increased AKT phosphorylation. Whereas the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase increased PGG-induced apoptosis and autophagy, experiments with pharmacologic inducer or inhibitor of autophagy or by knocking down autophagy mediator Beclin-1 showed that autophagy provided survival signaling that suppressed caspase-mediated apoptosis. Knocking down of death receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase increased overall death without changing light chain 3-II or caspase activation, thus not supporting death receptor-interacting protein 1-necroptosis for PGG-induction of autophagy or other programmed cell death. Furthermore, PGG-treated PC-3 cells lost clonogenic ability. The induction by PGG of caspase-independent programmed cell death in aggressive prostate cancer cell lines supports testing its merit as a potential drug candidate for therapy of caspase-resistant recurrent prostate cancer.