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CD30 is a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily and a surface marker for Hodgkin's disease. Normal activated T cells and several virally transformed T or B cell lines also show CD30 expression. The interaction of CD30 with its ligand induces cell death or proliferation, depending on the cell type. In this report we characterize the signals mediated by the intracellular domain of CD30 and show that, in combination with signal(s) transduced by the T cell receptor, the multimerization of CD30 cytoplasmic domain induces Fas(CD95)-independent cell death in T cell hybridomas. Deletion analysis shows that the COOH-terminal 66 amino acids of CD30 are required to induce cell death. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have identified that the same region of CD30 interacts with tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF)1 and TRAF2. These results indicate that TRAF1 and/or TRAF2 play an important role in cell death in addition to their previously identified roles in cell proliferation.