Blockage of either nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) or Akt sensitizes cancer cells to TNF-induced apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the undetermined effect of concurrent blockage of these two survival pathways on TNF-induced cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells. The results show that Akt contributes to TNF-induced NF-kappaB activation in lung cancer cells through regulating phosphorylation of the p65/RelA subunit of NF-kappaB. Although individually blocking IKK or Akt partially suppressed TNF-induced NF-kappaB activation, concurrent suppression of these pathways completely inhibited TNF-induced NF-kappaB activation and downstream anti-apoptotic gene expression, and synergistically potentiated TNF-induced cytotoxicity. Moreover, suppression of Akt inhibited the Akt-mediated anti-apoptotic pathway through dephosphorylation of BAD. These results indicate that concurrent suppression of NF-kappaB and Akt synergistically sensitizes TNF-induced cytotoxicity through blockage of distinct survival pathways downstream of NF-kappaB and Akt, which may be applied in lung cancer therapy.