TIP60 (HTATIP) is a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) whose function is critical in regulating ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) activation, gene expression, and chromatin acetylation in DNA repair. Here we show that under non-stressed conditions, activating transcription factor-2 (ATF2) in cooperation with Cul3 ubiquitin ligase promotes degradation of TIP60, thereby attenuating its HAT activity. Inhibiting either ATF2 or Cul3 expression by small interfering RNA stabilizes the TIP60 protein. ATF2 association with TIP60 on chromatin is decreased following exposure to ionizing radiation (IR), resulting in enhanced TIP60 stability and activity. We also identified a panel of melanoma and prostate cancer cell lines whose ATF2 expression is inversely correlated with TIP60 levels and ATM activation after IR. Inhibition of ATF2 expression in these lines restored TIP60 protein levels and both basal and IR-induced levels of ATM activity. Our study provides novel insight into regulation of ATM activation by ATF2-dependent control of TIP60 stability and activity.