The TNF-JNK pathway is a highly conserved signaling pathway that regulates a wide spectrum of biological processes including cell death and migration. To further delineate this pathway, we carried out a genetic screen for dominant modifiers of the cell death phenotype triggered by ectopic expression of Eiger (Egr), the Drosophila TNF ortholog. Here we show that Bendless (Ben), an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, modulates Egr-induced JNK activation and cell death through dTRAF2. Furthermore, Ben physically interacts with dTRAF2 and regulates Egr-induced dTRAF2 polyubiquitination. Finally, Ben is required for JNK-dependent tumor progression, cell migration, oxidative stress resistance and longevity. Our results indicate that Ben constitutes an essential component of the evolutionarily conserved TNF-JNK pathway that modulates cell death and invasion, tumor progression, stress response and lifespan in metazoans.