The tumor suppressor gene p53 regulates apoptosis in response to DNA damage. Promoter selectivity of p53 depends on mainly its phosphorylation. Particularly, the phosphorylation at serine-46 of p53 is indispensable in promoting pro-apoptotic genes that are, however, poorly determined. In the current study, we identified palmdelphin as a pro-apoptotic gene induced by p53 in a phosphorylated serine-46-specific manner. Upregulation of palmdelphin was observed in wild-type p53-transfected cells, but not in serine-46-mutated cells. Expression of palmdelphin was induced by p53 in response to DNA damage. In turn, palmdelphin induced apoptosis. Intriguingly, downregulation of palmdelphin resulted in necroptosis-like cell death via ATP depletion. Upon DNA damage, palmdelphin dominantly accumulated in the nucleus to induce apoptosis. These findings define palmdelphin as a target of serine-46-phosphorylated p53 that controls cell death in response to DNA damage.