Both MAPK and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathways promote cell survival and protect against cell death. Here, we show that 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) prevents Fas-induced apoptosis in T lymphocytes. The effect of TPA was specifically abolished by the PKC inhibitor GF109203X and by dominant negative PKCtheta, PKCepsilon, and PKCalpha, suggesting that novel and conventional PKC isoforms mediate phorbol ester action. Moreover, TPA stimulated phosphorylation of BAD at serine 112, an effect abrogated by GF109203X but not by the MEK inhibitor PD98059. Expression of constitutively active PKC increased the phosphorylation of BAD at serine 112 but not at serine 136. Additionally, Fas-mediated cell death was enhanced by overexpression of a catalytically inactive form of p90Rsk (Rsk2-KN). Finally, Rsk2-KN abolished the protective effect of constitutively active PKC and totally blocked phosphorylation of BAD on serine 112. Thus, novel PKCtheta and PKCepsilon rescue T lymphocytes from Fas-mediated apoptosis via a p90Rsk-dependent phosphorylation and inactivation of BAD.