TNF plays a pathogenic role in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), which are characterized by altered cytokine production and increased intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis. In vitro studies suggest that kinase suppressor of Ras-1 (KSR1) is an essential regulatory kinase for TNF-stimulated survival pathways in intestinal epithelial cell lines. Here we use a KSR1-deficient mouse model to study the role of KSR1 in regulating intestinal cell fate during cytokine-mediated inflammation. We show that KSR1 and its target signaling pathways are activated in inflamed colon mucosa. Loss of KSR1 increases susceptibility to chronic colitis and TNF-induced apoptosis in the intestinal epithelial cell. Furthermore, disruption of KSR1 expression enhances TNF-induced apoptosis in mouse colon epithelial cells and is associated with a failure to activate antiapoptotic signals including Raf-1/MEK/ERK, NF-kappaB, and Akt/protein kinase B. These effects are reversed by WT, but not kinase-inactive, KSR1. We conclude that KSR1 has an essential protective role in the intestinal epithelial cell during inflammation through activation of cell survival pathways.