DNA damage induces accumulation and activation of p53 via various posttranslational modifications. Among them, several lines of evidence indicated the phosphorylation of Ser46 as an important mediator of DNA damage-induced apoptosis but the responsible kinase remains to be clarified, especially in the case of ionizing radiation (IR). Here we showed that DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) could phosphorylate Ser46 of p53 in addition to reported phosphorylation sites Ser15 and Ser37. However, IR-induced phosphorylation of Ser46 was seen even in M059J, a human glioma cell line lacking DNA-PKcs, and it was, at most, only slightly less than in control M059K. On the other hand, a related kinase ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), which was shown to be essential for IR-induced phosphorylation of Ser46, could poorly phosphorylate Ser46 by itself. These results collectively suggested two pathways for IR-induced phosphorylation of Ser46, i.e., direct phosphorylation by DNA-PK and indirect phosphorylation via ATM.