We used yeast two-hybrid screening to identify the cytoskeletal protein filamin as a ligand for the proapoptotic protease granzyme B, produced by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Filamin was directly cleaved by granzyme B when target cells were exposed to granzyme B and the lytic protein perforin, but it was also cleaved in a caspase-dependent manner following the ligation of Fas receptors. A similar pattern of filamin cleavage to polypeptides of ∼110 and 95 kDa was observed in Jurkat cells killed by either mechanism. However, filamin cleavage in response to granzyme B was not inhibited by the caspase inhibitor z-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone at concentrations that abolished DNA fragmentation. Filamin staining was redistributed from the cell membrane into the cytoplasm of Jurkat cells exposed to granzyme B and perforin and following ligation of Fas receptors, coincident with the morphological changes of apoptosis. Filamin-deficient human melanoma cells were significantly (although not completely) protected from granzyme B-mediated death compared with isogenic filamin-expressing cells, both in clonogenic survival and 51Cr release assays, whereas death from multiple other stimuli was not affected by filamin deficiency. Thus, filamin is a functionally important substrate for granzyme B, as its cleavage may account at least partly for caspase-independent cell death mediated by the granzyme.