Multidrug resistance (MDR) caused by overexpression of p-glycoprotein is a major obstacle in chemotherapy of malignant cancer, which usually is characterized by constitutive activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), but their relation between MDR and STAT3 remains unclear. Here, we showed that STAT3 was overexpressed and highly activated in adriamycin-resistant K562/A02 cells compared with its parental K562 cells. Blockade of activation of STAT3 by STAT3 decoy oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) promoted the accumulation and increased their sensitivity to adriamycin by down-regulating transcription of mdr1 and expression of P-gp, which were further confirmed by using STAT3-specific inhibitor JSI-124. Inhibition of STAT3 could also decrease mdr1 promoter mediated luciferase expression by using mdr1 promoter luciferase reporter construct. Otherwise, activation of STAT3 by STAT3C improved mdr1 transcription and P-gp expression. The ChIP results demonstrated that STAT3 could bind to the potential promoter region of mdr1, and STAT3 decoy depressed the binding. Further mutation assay show +64∼+72 region could be the STAT3 binding site. Our data demonstrate a role of STAT3 in regulation of mdr1 gene expression in myeloid leukemia and suggest that STAT3 may be a promising therapeutic target for overcoming MDR resistance in myeloid leukemia.