MEKK2 is a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase gene family involved in regulating multiple MAPK signaling pathways. To elucidate the in vivo function of MEKK2, we generated mice carrying a targeted mutation in the Mekk2 locus. Mekk2(-/-) mice are viable and fertile. Major subsets of thymic and spleen T cells in Mekk2-deficient mice were indistinguishable from those in wild-type mice. B-cell development appeared to proceed similarly in the bone marrow of Mekk2-deficient and wild-type mice. However, Mekk2(-/-) T-cell proliferation was augmented in response to anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (MAb) stimulation, and these T cells produced more interleukin 2 and gamma interferon than did the wild-type T cells, suggesting that MEKK2 may be involved in controlling the strength of T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling. Consistently, Mekk2(-/-) thymocytes were more susceptible than wild-type thymocytes to anti-CD3 MAb-induced cell death. Furthermore, TCR-mediated c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation was not blocked but moderately enhanced in Mekk2(-/-) T cells. Neither extracellular signal-regulated kinase nor p38 MAPK activation was affected in Mekk2(-/-) T cells. In conclusion, we found that MEKK2 may be required for controlling the strength of TCR/CD3 signaling.