The membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of a cell forms contacts directly with mitochondria whereby the contact is referred to as the mitochondrion-associated ER membrane or the MAM. Here we found that the MAM regulates cellular survival via an MAM-residing ER chaperone the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) in that the Sig-1R chaperones the ER stress sensor IRE1 to facilitate inter-organelle signaling for survival. IRE1 is found in this study to be enriched at the MAM in CHO cells. We found that IRE1 is stabilized at the MAM by Sig-1Rs when cells are under ER stress. Sig-1Rs stabilize IRE1 and thus allow for conformationally correct IRE1 to dimerize into the long-lasting, activated endonuclease. The IRE1 at the MAM also responds to reactive oxygen species derived from mitochondria. Therefore, the ER-mitochondrion interface serves as an important subcellular entity in the regulation of cellular survival by enhancing the stress-responding signaling between mitochondria, ER, and nucleus.