The loss of mitochondrial integrity as a consequence of apoptogenic complexes formed on the outer membrane constitutes a key step in controlling progression of apoptotic cascades. Here, we show that multiple members of the linker histone (LH) family of proteins modify apoptotic cascades initiated by the Bcl-2 protein Bak, and impart resistance to its endogenous antagonist Bcl-xL. Our experiments reveal apoptogenic capabilities equivalent to those documented for H1.2 in H1.1 and H1.3 isoforms. Deletion mutants of H1.2 and site-directed mutagenesis of H1.1 and H1.2 implicated the C-terminal domain in apoptogenic activity. In this context, disruption of protein kinase-C activity using chemical inhibitors, dominant-negative approaches and RNA interference coupled with site-directed modifications in H1.1, identified the protein kinase-Cβ1 isoform as a repressor of H1.1/H1.3 apoptogenic activity. Finally, a H1.2 C-terminal tail recombinant attenuated Bcl-xl inhibition of Bak-induced apoptosis, suggesting that the C-terminal domain was necessary and sufficient for apoptogenic functions. Thus, integration with apoptotic intermediates (via C-terminal tail interactions) may constitute a more generalized function of LH isoforms in apoptotic cascades.