While small Maf proteins have been suggested to be essential for the Nrf2-mediated activation of antioxidant response element (ARE)-dependent genes, the extent of their requirement remains to be fully documented. To address this issue, we generated mafG::mafF double-mutant mice possessing MafK as the single available small Maf. Induction of the NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) gene was significantly impaired in double-mutant mice treated with butylated hydroxyanisole, while other ARE-dependent genes were less affected. Similarly, in a keap1-null background, where many of the ARE-dependent genes are constitutively activated in an Nrf2-dependent manner, only a subset of ARE-dependent genes, including NQO1, were sensitive to a simultaneous deficiency in MafG and MafF. Examination of single and double small maf mutant cells revealed that MafK also contributes to the induction of ARE-dependent genes. To obtain decisive evidence, we established mafG::mafK::mafF triple-mutant fibroblasts that completely lack small Mafs and turned out to be highly susceptible to oxidative stress. We found that induction in response to diethyl maleate was abolished in a wider range of ARE-dependent genes in the triple-mutant cells. These data explicitly demonstrate that small Mafs play critical roles in the inducible expression of a significant portion of ARE-dependent genes.