Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) is a selenocysteine-containing peroxidase enzyme that defends mammalian cells against oxidative stress, but the role of GPx signaling is poorly characterized. Here, we show that GPx type 1 (GPx1) plays a key regulatory role in the apoptosis signaling pathway. The absence of GPx1 augmented TNF-α-induced apoptosis in various RIPK3-negative cancer cells by markedly elevating the level of cytosolic H2O2, which is derived from mitochondria. At the molecular level, the absence of GPx1 led to the strengthened sequential activation of sustained JNK and caspase-8 expression. Two signaling mechanisms are involved in the GPx1-dependent regulation of the apoptosis pathway: (1) GPx1 regulates the level of cytosolic H2O2 that oxidizes the redox protein thioredoxin 1, blocking ASK1 activation, and (2) GPx1 interacts with TRAF2 and interferes with the formation of the active ASK1 complex. Inducible knockdown of GPx1 expression impaired the tumorigenic growth of MDA-MB-231 cells (>70% reduction, P = 0.0034) implanted in mice by promoting apoptosis in vivo. Overall, this study reveals the apoptosis-related signaling function of a GPx family enzyme highly conserved in aerobic organisms.