TRAIL is a cytokine that can induce tumor-specific apoptosis through its specific death receptors (DR4 and DR5) and p53 has been proven to increase the expression of death receptors. To examine their interaction in tumor suppression, p53 and TRAIL genes were inserted in recombinant adenovirus vectors and transferred simultaneously into non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (NCI-H157, NCI-H358, NCI-H460 and A549). Western blot assay demonstrated production of TRAIL protein in NCI-H157 and A549 cell lines. Increased expressions of DR4 and DR5 of NCI-H157 and DR4 of A549 after p53 overexpression were confirmed by flow cytometry. p53 or TRAIL gene transfer increased sub-G1 fraction in cell cycle analysis and inhibited the tumor growth dose-dependently and the degree was potentiated by co-transfer. But isobologram analysis indicated an additive effect. Together, these data indicate that p53 and TRAIL interact additively on tumor apoptosis despite theoretical synergism.