Oncogene-induced senescence is a stable proliferative arrest that serves as a tumor-suppressing defense mechanism. p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) has been implicated in oncogene-induced senescence and tumor suppression. However, the specific role of each of the four p38 isoforms in oncogene-induced senescence is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that p38δ mediates oncogene-induced senescence through a p53- and p16(INK4A)-independent mechanism. Instead, evidence suggests a link between p38δ and the DNA damage pathways. Moreover, we have discovered a novel mechanism that enhances the expression of p38δ during senescence. In this mechanism, oncogenic ras induces the Raf-1-MEK-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway, which, in turn, activates the AP-1 and Ets transcription factors that are bound to the p38δ promoter, leading to increased transcription of p38δ. These findings indicate that induction of the prosenescent function of p38δ by oncogenic ras is achieved through 2 mechanisms, transcriptional activation by the Raf-1-MEK-ERK-AP-1/Ets pathway, which increases the cellular concentration of the p38δ protein, and posttranslational modification by MKK3/6, which stimulates the enzymatic activity of p38δ. In addition, these studies identify the AP-1 and Ets transcription factors as novel signaling components in the senescence-inducing pathway.