Solar UVA, but not UVC, reaches the earth's surface and therefore is an important etiological factor for the induction of human skin cancer. ATM kinase is an important regulator of cell survival and cell cycle checkpoints. Here, we observe that UVA, unlike UVC, triggers ATM kinase activity, and the activation may occur through reactive oxygen species produced after irradiation of cells with UVA. We also show that ATM activation is involved in the apoptotic response to UVA but not UVC. Furthermore, we provide evidence that ATM-dependent p53 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways are linked to UVA-induced apoptosis. On the other hand, UVC-induced apoptosis occurs through ATR-dependent p53 phosphorylation as well as the JNK pathway. Therefore, these results suggest that ATM, like p53, is involved in the UVA-induced apoptosis to suppress carcinogenesis.