The expression of three BH3-only proteins, Bad, Bid and Bim, were knocked down in HEK 293 cells using vectors that express corresponding siRNAs. When cultured in the presence of 10% (v/v) serum and a diminished glucose/nutrients environment, cells lacking any one of these BH3-only proteins showed delayed cell death compared to wild type cells. Remarkably, the culture life of Bad (-) cells was extended for an additional 5 days compared to WT HEK 293 cells. In the absence of serum, the suppression of either Bad, Bim or Bid expression delayed cell death under several stress conditions. Results presented in this paper offer an insight into the functions of BH3-only proteins in mediating the death signals under different stress conditions.