Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is an evolutionary conserved mitogen-activated protein 3-kinase that activates both Jnk and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases. Here we used ASK1-deficient mice to show that ASK1 was selectively required for lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of p38 but not of Jnk or the transcription factor NF-κB. ASK1 was required for the induction of proinflammatory cytokines dependent on Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) but not TLR2 or other TLRs. Consistent with this, ASK1-deficient mice were resistant to lipopolysaccharide-induced septic shock. Lipopolysaccharide induced the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species, which was required for the formation of a complex of the adaptor molecule TRAF6 and ASK1 and subsequent activation of the ASK1-p38 pathway. Our data demonstrate that the reactive oxygen species-dependent TRAF6-ASK1-p38 axis is crucial for TLR4-mediated mammalian innate immunity.