We recently reported that butyrate, an inhibitor of histone deacetylases, is capable of inducing Fas-independent apoptosis in the acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line CCRF-CEM. Here we demonstrate that butyrate enhances Fas-induced apoptosis in this cell line. The application of different histone deacetylase inhibitors revealed that tetra-acetylated histone H4 is associated with the amplifying effect of butyrate on Fas-induced cell death. FasL, Fas, FADD, RIP, caspase-8, caspase-3, Bid, FLIP(S+L), FLASH and FAP-1, proteins known to act within the Fas-apoptosis cascade, showed no changes in their expression levels in cells treated with butyrate compared with untreated cells. Analyses of Fas-oligomerization and Western blotting as well as enzyme activity assays of caspase-2, caspase-3 and caspase-8 suggest that butyrate enhances Fas-induced apoptosis downstream of Fas but upstream of caspase-8 activation. In immunoprecipitation experiments a 37 kD butyrate-regulated protein was detected which specifically interacts with caspase-8.