Epitope-tagged glutaredoxin (GRX) was utilized to determine the role of GRX in oxidative stress-induced signaling and cytotoxicity in glucose-deprived human cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR and DU-145). GRX-overexpressing cells demonstrated resistance to glucose deprivation-induced cytotoxicity and decreased activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1). Deletion mutants showed the C-terminal portion of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) bound GRX, and glucose deprivation disrupted binding. Treatment with l-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine reduced glutathione content by 99% and prevented glucose deprivation-induced dissociation of GRX from ASK1. A thiol antioxidant, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, or overexpression of an H(2)O(2) scavenger, catalase, inhibited glucose deprivation-induced dissociation of GRX from ASK1. GRX active site cysteine residues (Cys(22) and Cys(25)) were required for dissociation of GRX from ASK1 during glucose deprivation. Kinase assays revealed that SEK1 and JNK1 were regulated in an ASK1-dependent fashion during glucose deprivation. Overexpression of GRX or catalase inhibited activation of ASK1-SEK1-JNK1 signaling during glucose deprivation. These results demonstrate that GRX is a negative regulator of ASK1 and dissociation of GRX from ASK1 activates ASK1-SEK1-JNK1 signaling leading to cytotoxicity during glucose deprivation. These results support the hypothesis that the GRX-ASK1 interaction is redox sensitive and regulated in a glutathione-dependent fashion by H(2)O(2).