p53, DNA damage regulated gene (PDRG) and apoptosis-stimulating p53 protein 2 (ASPP2) are p53-related genes which can promote apoptosis. The full-length cDNA sequence of the Px-pdrg and Px-aspp2 genes were characterized and their mRNA expression dynamics under heat stress were studied in diamondback moth (DBM) Plutella xylostella collected from Fuzhou, China. The full-length cDNA of Px-pdrg and Px-aspp2 spans 721 and 4201 bp, containing 395 and 3216 bp of the open reading frame, which encode a putative protein comprising 130 and 1072 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 14.58 and 118.91 kDa, respectively. As compared to 25°C, both Px-pdrg and Px-aspp2 were upregulated in chlorpyrifos-resistant (Rc) and -susceptible (Sm) strains of DBM adults and pupae under heat stress. In addition, Rc DBM showed a significantly higher expression level of Px-pdrg and Px-aspp2 in contrast to Sm DBM. The results indicate that high temperature can significantly promote apoptosis process, especially in Rc-DBM. Significant fitness cost in Rc-DBM might be associated with drastically higher transcript abundance of Px-pdrg and Px-aspp2 under the heat stress.