The relationship between cell transformation and p38 MAP kinase, a major mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway converting signals of various extracellular stimuli into expression of specific target genes through activation of transcription factors, still remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the p38 MAP kinase pathway in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced cell transformation in JB6 cells. Our data show that a dominant negative mutant of p38 MAP (DN-p38) kinase inhibits EGF-promoted JB6 C141 cell transformation and that SB202190, an inhibitor of p38 MAP kinase, also inhibits JB6 C141 cell transformation in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, our results show that DN-p38 MAP kinase inhibits the phosphorylation of EGF-stimulated activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). Additionally, DN-p38 MAP kinase inhibits EGF-induced phosphorylation of c-Myc (Thr58/Ser62). Gel shift assays indicate that DN-p38 MAP kinase inhibits EGF-induced activator protein-1 (AP-1) DNA binding in a dose-dependent manner. These results show that p38 MAP kinase plays a key role in the regulation of EGF-induced cell transformation in JB6 cells through regulation of phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase and activation of its target genes in phosphorylation, c-Myc cell transformation-related genes, and AP-1 binding ability.