Ultraviolet (UV) exerts its biological activities by activating downstream effectors, including NF-kappaB, JNK, and caspases. Activation of JNK is required for UV-induced apoptosis. It is unknown whether any crosstalk occurs between NF-kappaB and JNK in response to UV and, if so, how it affects UV killing. Here we report that NF-kappaB promotes UV-induced JNK activation, thereby contributing to UV-induced apoptosis. UV-induced JNK activation is impaired in RelA/NF-kappaB null murine embryonic fibroblasts. In resting cells, the preexisting nuclear RelA has already been recruited to PKCdelta promoter and is essential for its expression. UV-induced rapid and robust activation of JNK requires PKCdelta, which augments JNK phosphorylation-activation by its upstream kinases. The RelA/NF-kappaB-PKCdelta-JNK pathway is critical for UV-induced apoptosis, as it induces the immediate expression of the proapoptotic Fas ligand. Thus, our results demonstrate that RelA/NF-kappaB via PKCdelta positively regulates UV-induced JNK activation and provide a mechanism by which NF-kappaB promotes UV-induced apoptosis.