PD-1 negatively regulates CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) cytotoxicity and anti-tumor immunity. However, it is not fully understood how PD-1 expression on CD8(+) CTL is regulated during anti-tumor immunotherapy. In this study, we have identified that the ADAP-SKAP55 signaling module reduced CD8(+) CTL cytotoxicity and enhanced PD-1 expression in a Fyn-, Ca(2+)-, and NFATc1-dependent manner. In DC vaccine-based tumor prevention and therapeutic models, knockout of SKAP55 or ADAP showed a heightened protection from tumor formation or metastases in mice and reduced PD-1 expression in CD8(+) effector cells. Interestingly, CTLA-4 levels and the percentages of tumor infiltrating CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs remained unchanged. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of SKAP55-deficient or ADAP-deficient CD8(+) CTLs significantly blocked tumor growth and increased anti-tumor immunity. Pretreatment of wild-type CD8(+) CTLs with the NFATc1 inhibitor CsA could also downregulate PD-1 expression and enhance anti-tumor therapeutic efficacy. Together, we propose that targeting the unrecognized ADAP-SKAP55-NFATc1-PD-1 pathway might increase efficacy of anti-tumor immunotherapy.