microRNAs (miRNAs) play both oncogenic and oncostatic roles in leukemia. However, the molecular details underlying miRNA-mediated regulation of their target genes in pediatric B- and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs) remain unclear. The present study investigated the relationship between miR-2909 and Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), and its functional relevance to cell cycle progression and immortalization in patients with pediatric ALL. Elevated levels of miR-2909 targeted the tumor suppressor gene KLF4 in pediatric B-cell, but not pediatric T-cell ALL, as detected by pMIR-GFP reporter assay. Expression levels of genes including apoptosis-antagonizing transcription factor (AATF), MYC, B-cell lymphoma (BCL3), P21CIP, CCND1 and SP1 in B- and T-cells from patients with pediatric ALL were compared with control levels using real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, and reporter assays. We identified two novel mutations in KLF4 in pediatric T-ALL. A mutation in the 3' untranslated region of the KLF4 gene resulted in loss of miR-2909-mediated regulation, while mutation in its first or third zinc-finger motif (Zf1/Zf3) rendered KLF4 transcriptionally inactive. This mutation was a frameshift mutation resulting in alteration of the Zf3 motif sequence in the mutant KLF4 protein in all pediatric T-ALL samples. Homology models, docking studies and promoter activity of its target gene P21CIP confirmed the lack of function of the mutant KLF4 protein in pediatric T-ALL. Moreover, the inability of miR-2909 to regulate KLF4 and its downstream genes controlling cell cycle and apoptosis in T-cell but not in B-ALL was verified by antagomiR-2909 transfection. Comprehensive sequence analysis of KLF4 identified the predominance of isoform 1 (~55 kDa) in most patients with pediatric B-ALL, while those with pediatric T-ALL expressed isoform 2 (~51 kDa). This study identified a novel miR-2909-KLF4 molecular axis able to differentiate between the pathogeneses of pediatric B- and T-cell ALLs, and which may represent a new diagnostic/prognostic marker.