p53 mutation is common and highly related to radiotherapy resistance in rectal cancer. APR-246, as a small molecule, can restore the tumor-suppressor function to mutant p53. There is no study on combining APR-246 with radiation in rectal cancer; therefore, we examined whether APR-246 sensitized colorectal cancer cells with different p53 status to radiation. The combination treatment had synergistic effects on HCT116p53-R248W/-(p53Mut) cells, followed by HCT116p53+/+(p53WT) cells, and exhibited an additive effect on HCT116p53-/-(p53Null) cells through inhibiting proliferation, enhancing reactive oxygen species, and apoptosis. The results were confirmed in zebrafish xenografts. Mechanistically, p53Mut and p53WT cells shared more activated pathways and differentially expressed genes following the combination treatment, compared to p53Null cells, although the combination treatment regulated individual pathways in the different cell lines. APR-246 mediated radio-sensitization effects through p53-dependent and -independent ways. The results may provide evidence for a clinical trial of the combination in rectal cancer patients.