Radiation resistance is a hallmark of human melanoma, and yet mechanisms underlying this resistance are not well understood. We recently established the role of ATF2 in this process, suggesting that stress kinases, which contribute to regulation of ATF2 stability and activity, play an important role in the acquisition of such resistance. Here we demonstrate that changes in the expression and respective activities of TRAF2/GCK occur during melanoma development and regulate its sensitivity to UV-induced apoptosis. Comparing early- and late-stage melanoma cells revealed low expression of TRAF2 and GCK in early-stage melanoma, which coincided with poor resistance to UV-induced, TNF-mediated apoptosis; forced expression of GCK alone or in combination with TRAF2 efficiently increased JNK and NF-κB activities, which coincided with increased protection against apoptosis. Conversely, forced expression of the dominant negative form of TRAF2 or GCK in late-stage melanoma cells reduced NF-κB activity and decreased Fas expression, resulting in a lower degree of UV-induced, Fas-mediated cell death. Our results illustrate a mechanism in which protection from, or promotion of, UV-induced melanoma cell death depends on the nature of the apoptotic cascade (TNF or Fas) and on the availability of TRAF2/GCK, whose expression increases during melanoma progression.