Modulator of apoptosis 1 (MOAP-1) is a Bax-associating protein highly enriched in the brain. In this study, we examined the role of MOAP-1 in promoting ischemic injuries following a stroke by investigating the consequences of MOAP-1 overexpression or deficiency in in vitro and in vivo models of ischemic stroke. MOAP-1 overexpressing SH-SY5Y cells showed significantly lower cell viability following oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) treatment when compared to control cells. Consistently, MOAP-1−/− primary cortical neurons were observed to be more resistant against OGD treatment than the MOAP-1+/+ primary neurons. In the mouse transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) model, ischemia triggered MOAP-1/Bax association, suggested activation of the MOAP-1-dependent apoptotic cascade. MOAP-1−/− mice were found to exhibit reduced neuronal loss and smaller infarct volume 24 h after tMCAO when compared to MOAP-1+/+ mice. Correspondingly, MOAP-1−/− mice also showed better integrity of neurological functions as demonstrated by their performance in the rotarod test. Therefore, both in vitro and in vivo data presented strongly support the conclusion that MOAP-1 is an important apoptotic modulator in ischemic injury. These results may suggest that a reduction of MOAP-1 function in the brain could be a potential therapeutic approach in the treatment of acute stroke.