ZFAT (also known as ZNF406), originally identified as a candidate gene for autoimmune thyroid disease, encodes a zinc-finger protein, however, its function has not been elucidated. Here, we report that human ZFAT protein is expressed in peripheral B and T lymphocytes and a human acute T lymphoblastic leukaemia cell line, MOLT-4 cells. Intriguing is that mouse ZFAT expression in CD4(+) lymphocytes is increased during blast formation. Furthermore, ZFAT-knockdown in MOLT-4 induces apoptosis via activation of caspases. These results suggested that ZFAT protein is a critical regulator involved in apoptosis and cell survival for immune-related cells.