MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-protein-coding RNAs that can function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes. Deregulation of miRNA expression has been reported in lung cancer. However, modulation of miRNA expression by chemopreventive agents remains to be defined. In the present study, we examined if the chemopreventive agent indole-3-carbinol (I3C) reversed vinyl carbamate (VC)-induced deregulation of miRNA levels in lung tissues of female A/J mice. Lung tissues were obtained from a previous chemoprevention study, in which mice were treated with VC and given I3C in the diet for 15 weeks. Microarray studies revealed alterations in the expression of a number of miRNAs in lung tumors relative to that of normal lungs. miR-21, mir-31, miR-130a, miR-146b and miR-377 were consistently upregulated, whereas miR-1 and miR-143 were downregulated in lung tumors relative to normal lungs. In mice treated with VC and given I3C in the diet, levels of miR-21, mir-31, miR-130a, miR-146b and miR-377 were reduced relative to the level in mice treated with the carcinogen only. The results of the microarray study were confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and gel analysis of polymerase chain reaction products. Further studies with miR-21 indicated that phosphatase and tensin homolog, programmed cell death 4 and rich protein with Kazal motifs are potential targets for the oncogenic effect of miR-21 and the chemopreventive activity of I3C. Taken together, we showed here that miRNAs are deregulated during VC-induced mouse lung tumorigenesis and their levels are modulated by I3C. Therefore, miRNAs and their target genes are promising biomarkers for the diagnosis of lung cancer and efficacy of chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agents.