Smac, second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases, promotes apoptosis via activation of caspases. Previous studies have shown that c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) is involved in regulating another mitochondrial protein, cytochrome c during apoptosis; however, the role of JNK in the release of mitochondrial Smac is unknown. Here we show that induction of apoptosis in multiple myeloma (MM) cells is associated with activation of JNK, translocation of JNK from cytosol to mitochondria, and release of Smac from mitochondria to cytosol. Blocking JNK either by dominant-negative mutant (DN-JNK) or cotreatment with a specific JNK inhibitor, SP600125, abrogates both stress-induced release of Smac and induction of apoptosis. These findings demonstrate that activation of JNK is an obligatory event for the release of Smac during stress-induced apoptosis in MM cells.