Abstract Increasing evidence has lent support to the notion that miRNAs regulate hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell proliferation by directly targeting cell cycle-related genes. Among these genes, we identified PRPF4B, a CDK-like kinase, as a new target of miR-371-5p. Over-expression of miR-371-5p and knockdown of PRPF4B promotes cell growth by accelerating the G1/S transition in HCC cell lines. Moreover, miR-371-5p promotes tumor growth of QGY-7703 cells in vivo. Conversely, inhibition of miR-371-5p yields an opposing effect. Ectopic expression of PFPF4B abolishes the malignant phenotypes caused by miR-371-5p. Furthermore, contrary to PRPF4B, miR-371 was up-regulated in HCC tissues. Collectively, we highlight the significance of miR-371-5p and PRPF4B in cell cycle progression and hepatocarcinogenesis.