The expression pattern of microRNAs (miRNAs) and their potential target genes were investigated in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cell line NB4 cells during all-trans-retinoid acid (ATRA) treatment by using a miRNA microarrays platform and real-time quantitative PCR (RTQ-PCR). MiR-146a as one of the miRNAs down-regulated by ATRA during APL differentiation was identified. Direct interaction between miR146a and its predictive target gene Smad4 were confirmed by Luciferase assay. Down-regulation of miR-146a and upregulation of Smad4 at protein levels were demonstrated. These data suggested that miR-146a might influence proliferation of APL cells through TGF-beta1/Smad signal transduction pathway during ATRA induction.