Breast cancer is the most commonly malignancies in women. MicroRNAs are a family of small non-coding RNAs 18-25 nucleotides in length that post-transcriptionally modulate gene expression. MiR-26a has been reported as a tumor suppressor microRNA in breast cancer, which is attributed mainly to targeting of MTDH and EZH2, however, the expression profile and therapeutic potential of miR-26a is still unclear. Here we demonstrate that miR-26a is down-regulated in breast cancer cells and clinical specimens and its modulation in breast cancer cells regulates cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and apoptosis. MCL-1, an anti-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, as novel targets of miR-26a was found to be in reverse correlation with ectopic expression of miR-26a and knockdown of MCL-1 phenocopied the effect of miR-26a in breast cancer cell lines. It was further explored that miR-26a increased sensitivity of breast cancer cells to paclitaxel in which MCL-1 was involved. Thus, miR-26a impacts on cell proliferation and migration of breast cancer by regulating several carcinogenesis-related processes, including a novel mechanism involving the targeting of MCL-1.