TNFα and IFNγ (TNF/IFNγ) synergistically induce caspase-8 activation and cancer cell death. However, the mechanism of IFNγ in promoting TNF-initiated caspase-8 activation in cancer cells is poorly understood. Here, we found that in addition to CASP8, CYLD is transcriptionally upregulated by IFNγ-induced transcription factor IRF1. IRF1-mediated CASP8 and CYLD upregulation additively mediates TNF/IFNγ-induced cancer cell death. Clinically, the expression levels of TNF, IFNγ, CYLD, and CASP8 in melanoma tumors are increased in patients responsive to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy after anti–PD-1 treatment. Accordingly, our genetic screen revealed that ELAVL1 (HuR) is required for TNF/IFNγ-induced caspase-8 activation. Mechanistically, ELAVL1 binds CASP8 mRNA and extends its stability to sustain caspase-8 expression both in IFNγ-stimulated and in basal conditions. Consequently, ELAVL1 determines death receptors–initiated caspase-8–dependent cell death triggered from stimuli including TNF and TRAIL by regulating basal/stimulated caspase-8 levels. As caspase-8 is a master regulator in cell death and inflammation, these results provide valuable clues for tumor immunotherapy and inflammatory diseases.

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