Chronic alcohol administration has been known to increase peroxynitrite hepatotoxicity by enhancing concomitant production of nitric oxide and superoxide. We previously reported that control of the mitochondrial redox balance and the cellular defense against oxidative damage are primary functions of mitochondrial NADP(+)-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDPm) through to supply NADPH for antioxidant systems. In the present study, we demonstrate that modulation of IDPm expression in HepG2 cells regulates ethanol-induced toxicity. We observed the significantly enhanced protection to cell killing, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, oxidative DNA damage, and decrease in generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species in IDPm-overexpressed cells compared to control cells upon exposure to ethanol. In contrast, transfection of HepG2 cells with IDPm short interfering RNA markedly decreased the expression of IDPm, modulating cellular redox status and subsequently enhancing the susceptibility of ethanol-induced toxicity. These studies support the hypothesis that IDPm plays an important role in regulating the toxicity induced by ethanol presumably through maintaining the cellular redox status.