microRNAs (miRs) have emerged as critical modulators of various physiological processes including stem cell differentiation. Indeed, miR-1 has been reported to play an integral role in the regulation of cardiac muscle progenitor cell differentiation. However, whether overexpression of miR-1 in embryonic stem (ES) cells (miR-1-ES cells) will enhance cardiac myocyte differentiation following transplantation into the infarcted myocardium is unknown. In the present study, myocardial infarction (MI) was produced in C57BL/6 mice by left anterior descending artery ligation. miR-1-ES cells, ES cells, or culture medium (control) was transplanted into the border zone of the infarcted heart, and 2 wk post-MI, cardiac myocyte differentiation, adverse ventricular remodeling, and cardiac function were assessed. We provide evidence demonstrating enhanced cardiac myocyte commitment of transplanted miR-1-ES cells in the mouse infarcted heart as compared with ES cells. Assessment of apoptosis revealed that overexpression of miR-1 in transplanted ES cells protected host myocardium from MI-induced apoptosis through activation of p-AKT and inhibition of caspase-3, phosphatase and tensin homolog, and superoxide production. A significant reduction in interstitial and vascular fibrosis was quantified in miR-1-ES cell and ES cell transplanted groups compared with control MI. However, no statistical significance between miR-1-ES cell and ES cell groups was observed. Finally, mice receiving miR-1-ES cell transplantation post-MI had significantly improved heart function compared with respective controls (P < 0.05). Our data suggest miR-1 drives cardiac myocyte differentiation from transplanted ES cells and inhibits apoptosis post-MI, ultimately giving rise to enhanced cardiac repair, regeneration, and function.