Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous late-onset diseases as well as organismal longevity. Nevertheless, the genetic components that affect cellular sensitivity to oxidative stress have not been explored extensively at the genome-wide level in mammals. Here we report an RNA interference (RNAi) screen for genes that increase resistance to an organic oxidant, tert-butylhydroperoxide (tert-BHP), in cultured fibroblasts. The loss-of-function screen allowed us to identify several short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) that elevated the cellular resistance to tert-BHP. One of these shRNAs strongly protected cells from tert-BHP and H(2)O(2) by specifically reducing the expression of retinol saturase, an enzyme that converts all-trans-retinol (vitamin A) to all-trans-13,14-dihydroretinol. The protective effect was well correlated with the reduction in mRNA level and was observed in both primary fibroblasts and NIH3T3 cells. The results suggest a novel role for retinol saturase in regulating sensitivity to oxidative stress and demonstrate the usefulness of large-scale RNAi screening for elucidating new molecular pathways involved in stress resistance.