hnRNP A1 is an RNA-binding protein involved in various aspects of RNA processing. Use of an in vivo cross-linking and immunoprecipitation protocol to find hnRNP A1 RNA targets resulted in the identification of a microRNA (miRNA) precursor, pre-miR-18a. This microRNA is expressed as part of a cluster of intronic RNAs, including miR-17, miR-18a, miR-19a, miR-20a, miR-19b-1 and miR-92, and potentially acts as an oncogene. Here we show that hnRNP A1 binds specifically to the primary RNA sequence pri-miR-18a before Drosha processing. HeLa cells depleted of hnRNP A1 have reduced in vitro processing activity with pri-miR-18a and also show reduced abundances of endogenous pre-miR-18a. Furthermore, we show that hnRNP A1 is required for miR-18a-mediated repression of a target reporter in vivo. These results underscore a previously uncharacterized role for general RNA-binding proteins as auxiliary factors that facilitate the processing of specific miRNAs.