Signals emanated from CD30 can activate the nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB). The two conserved subdomains, D1 and D2, in the C-terminal cytoplasmic region of CD30 were tested for interaction with two tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF) proteins with NFkappaB activating capacity, TRAF2 and TRAF5. TRAF5 is the newest member of the TRAF family that binds to lymphotoxin beta receptor and CD40. TRAF5, as well as TRAF2, interacted with the D2 subdomain of CD30 in vitro and in vivo. Deletion analysis by the yeast two-hybrid system revealed that the C-terminal 22 and 30 amino acid residues are dispensable for interaction of TRAF5 and TRAF2 with CD30, respectively. Substitution of alanine for threonine at 463 abolished the interaction with TRAF2. Overexpression of the TRAF domain of TRAF2 or TRAF5 showed a dominant negative effect on CD30-mediated NFkappaB activation. Simultaneous expression of these TRAF domains further suppressed the NFkappaB activation, suggesting an interplay of these TRAF proteins. Expression of TRAF2 and TRAF5 mRNA was demonstrated in T- and B-cell lines that express CD30. Taken together, our results indicate that TRAF2 and TRAF5 directly interact with CD30 and are involved in NFkappaB activation by CD30 signaling.