This study was purposed to investigate the expression of RPL36A (ribosomal protein 36a) in the newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells and its mechanism at the molecular level. The RPL36A mRNA expression in the newly diagnosed AML cells, U937 cells and normal MNCs was determined by RT-PCR. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting to RPL36A was transfected into U937 cells by Lipofectamine 2000 system. Proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis of U937 were observed through MTT assay, flow cytometry, acridine orange/ethidium bromide (AO/EB) double staining, TUNEL and Annexin V/FITC respectively. RPL36A mRNA and protein expression levels were detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analysis respectively. The results showed that RPL36A expression in the newly diagnosed AML cells and U937 cells was significantly upregulated. The average OD value of U937 cells transfected with RPL36A siRNA was significantly lower as compared with 3 control groups. The cell percentage in G2-and S-phase increased, which indicated the inhibition effect of RPL36A siRNA on cell proliferation. Remarkable cell apoptosis in U937 cells treated with RPL36A siRNA was observed by AO/EB, TUNEL analysis and Annexin V/FITC assay; RPL36A mRNA and protein expression level of U937 cells treated with siRNA were significantly declined in a time-dependent manner (r=0.9813 and 0.9537). It is concluded that the RPL36A expression in the AML cells is significantly enhanced and the RPL36A gene may be involved in regulation of cell cycle and cell apoptosis of AML, which promotes proliferation of AML cells and inhibits apoptosis of cells.