Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a cytotoxic agent that preferentially induces apoptosis in a variety of human cancer cells. Unfortunately, some tumor cells remain resistant to TRAIL. Therefore, agents that sensitize malignant cells to TRAIL-mediated cell death might be of particular importance for the development of novel antitumor therapeutic regimens. Recent studies establish a critical role of selenium in prostate cancer prevention in vitro and in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that concomitant administration of TRAIL and methylseleninic acid (MSA) produces synergistic effects on the induction of apoptosis in androgen-dependent LNCaP and androgen-independent DU-145 prostate cancer cells. MSA rapidly and specifically downregulates expression of the cellular FLICE inhibitory protein, a negative regulator of death receptor signaling. In addition, we demonstrate that the synergistic effects of MSA and TRAIL result from the activation of the mitochondrial pathway-mediated amplification loop. Addition of MSA effectively blocked TRAIL-mediated BAD phosphorylation at Ser112 and Ser136 in DU-145 cells and was accompanied by induction of the mitochondrial permeability transition and release of apoptogenic cytochrome c and Smac/DIABLO proteins from the mitochondria and into the cytosol. These results suggest that selenium-based dietary compounds may help to overcome resistance to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.