New therapeutic strategies are needed for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), and the plant extract ingenol mebutate (PEP005) may be considered. PEP005 has been approved for actinic keratosis, and proapoptotic activities were described in different cancer cells. Here, we aimed to investigate its efficacy in four CTCL cell lines and its mode of action. While HuT-78 and HH responded with induced apoptosis as well as with loss of cell viability and cell proliferation, MyLa and SeAx remained resistant. Interestingly, both sensitive and resistant cells showed caspase-8 activation and enhanced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), while final caspase-3 activation was restricted to sensitive cells. Apoptosis induction was prevented by the caspase inhibitor QVD-Oph as well as by the antioxidant vitamin E. Caspase activation by PEP005 may be explained to some extent by the downregulation of the caspase antagonistic proteins c-FLIP and XIAP in sensitive cells, whereas both proteins were strongly expressed in resistant cells. Finally, PEP005 resulted in the activation of proapoptotic PKC delta, and the PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide I reduced apoptosis, caspase-3 processing and ROS production, as well as restored cell viability. In conclusion, PKC delta appeared as a central player in apoptosis regulation in CTCL cells, also suggesting its therapeutic targeting.