Food-borne trans-fatty acids (TFAs) are mainly produced as byproducts during food manufacture. Recent epidemiological studies have revealed that TFA consumption is a major risk factor for various disorders, including atherosclerosis. However, the underlying mechanisms in this disease etiology are largely unknown. Here we have shown that TFAs potentiate activation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) induced by extracellular ATP, a damage-associated molecular pattern leaked from injured cells. Major food-associatedTFAssuch as elaidic acid (EA), linoelaidic acid, and trans-vaccenic acid, but not their corresponding cis isomers, dramatically enhanced extracellular ATP-induced apoptosis, accompanied by elevated activation of the ASK1-p38 pathway in a macrophage-like cell line, RAW264.7. Moreover, knocking out the ASK1-encoding gene abolished EA-mediated enhancementofapoptosis.WehavereportedpreviouslythatextracellularATPinducesapoptosisthroughtheASK1- p38pathwayactivated by reactive oxygen species generated downstream of the P2X purinoceptor 7 (P2X7). However, here we show that EA did not increase ATP-induced reactive oxygen species generation but, rather, augmentedtheeffectsofcalcium/ calmodulin-dependentkinaseII-dependent ASK1 activation. These results demonstrate that TFAs promote extracellular ATP-induced apoptosis by targeting ASK1 and indicate novel TFA-associated pathways leading to inflammatory signal transduction and cell death that underlie the pathogenesis and progression of TFA-induced atherosclerosis. Our study thus provides insight into the pathogenic mechanisms of and proposes potential therapeutic targets for these TFA-related disorders.