Vertebrate muscle differentiation is coordinated by an intricate network of transcription factors requiring proliferating myogenic precursors to withdraw irreversibly from the cell cycle. Recent studies have implicated a large number of microRNAs exerting another layer of control in many aspects of muscle differentiation. By annealing to short recognition sequences in the 3'-untranslated region, microRNAs attenuate target gene expression through translation repression or mRNA degradation. Here, we show that miR-214 promotes myogenic differentiation in mouse C2C12 myoblasts at a step preceding the induction of p21 and myogenin. Blocking miR-214 function with a 2'-O-methylated double-stranded inhibitor maintained C2C12 cells in the active cell cycle, thereby inhibiting the myogenic differentiation. By global gene expression profiling, we identified the proto-oncogene N-ras as one of miR-214 targets. Furthermore, manipulating the N-Ras level with small interfering RNA or adenovirus-mediated forced expression either augmented or attenuated the effect of miR-214, respectively. Thus, our data uncovered a novel microRNA-mediated mechanism that controls myogenic differentiation.