Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have the capacity to differentiate into nearly all sorts of cell types, including germ cells, which were regarded as one type of highly specialized cells in mammals, taking the responsibility of transferring genetic materials to the next generation. Studies on induction differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells (mESCs) into male germ cells, but with a low efficiency, basic reason is that the regulation mechanism of germ cell development in mammals is still unclear. miRNA might play an important role in spermatogenesis in mammals. In this study, several miRNAs, which might be related to spermatogenesis, were initially selected and detected in the mouse tissues by semi-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative real time (qRT)-PCR to find a testis-specific miRNA. To study its effect on mESCs differentiation into male germ cells, miR-34c mimics were synthesized and pri-miR-34c-GFP plasmid was constructed, transfected into mESCs and combined with retinoic acid induction. The effects of miR-34c were analysed by morphology, alkaline phosphatase staining, qRT-PCR_and immunofluorescent staining. The results showed that miR-34c promoted mESCs differentiation into male germ-like cells, to some extent. Then miR-34c targeted genes were predicted by bioinformatics; Retinoic acid receptor gamma (RARg) was selected, and two dual-luciferase reporter vectors contained the normal and mutated 3′untranslated region of RARg were constructed, respectively. By miRNA mimics and vector co-transfection experiment, the predicted target gene-RARg was confirmed. In conclusion, we found a mammalian male germ cell specific miRNA—miR-34c, and it might be pivotal in mESCs differentiation into male germ cells through its target—RARg. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.