We have shown that antagomiR inhibition of miRNA miR-21 and miR-196b activity is sufficient to ablate MLL-AF9 leukemia stem cells (LSC) in vivo. Here, we used an shRNA screening approach to mimic miRNA activity on experimentally verified miR-196b targets to identify functionally important and therapeutically relevant pathways downstream of oncogenic miRNA in MLL-r AML. We found Cdkn1b (p27 Kip1 ) is a direct miR-196b target whose repression enhanced an embryonic stem cell–like signature associated with decreased leukemia latency and increased numbers of leukemia stem cells in vivo. Conversely, elevation of p27 Kip1 significantly reduced MLL-r leukemia self-renewal, promoted monocytic differentiation of leukemic blasts, and induced cell death. Antagonism of miR-196b activity or pharmacologic inhibition of the Cks1-Skp2–containing SCF E3-ubiquitin ligase complex increased p27 Kip1 and inhibited human AML growth. This work illustrates that understanding oncogenic miRNA target pathways can identify actionable targets in leukemia.