The microRNA miR-21 is overexpressed in many human cancers, wherein accumulating evidence indicates that it functions as an oncogene. Here, we report that the cytokine IFN rapidly induces miR-21 expression in human and mouse cells. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) was implicated in this pathway based on the lack of IFN effect on miR-21 expression in prostate cancer cells with a deletion in the STAT3 gene. STAT3 ablation abrogated IFN induction of miR-21, confirming the important role of STAT3 in regulating miR-21. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that STAT3 directly bound the miR-21 promoter in response to IFN. Experiments in mouse embryo fibroblasts with a genetic deletion of the p65 NF-κB subunit showed that IFN-induced miR-21 expression was also dependent on NF-κB. STAT3 silencing blocked both IFN-induced p65 binding to the miR-21 promoter and p65 nuclear translocation. Thus, IFN-induced miR-21 expression is coregulated by STAT3 and NF-κB at the level of the miR-21 promoter. Several cell death regulators were identified as downstream targets of miR-21, including PTEN and Akt. Functional experiments in prostate cancer cells directly showed that miR-21 plays a critical role in suppressing IFN-induced apoptosis. Our results identify miR-21 as a novel IFN target gene that functions as a key feedback regulator of IFN-induced apoptosis.