Review of databases for experimentally validated human microRNA-mRNA interactions

Dorian Kariuki, Kesava Asam, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Kimberly A. Lewis, Jose C. Florez, Elena Flowers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRs) may contribute to disease etiology by influencing gene expression. Numerous databases are available for miR target prediction and validation, but their functionality is varied, and outputs are not standardized. The purpose of this review is to identify and describe databases for cataloging validated miR targets. Using Tools4miRs and PubMed, we identified databases with experimentally validated targets, human data, and a focus on miR-messenger RNA (mRNA) interactions. Data were extracted about the number of times each database was cited, the number of miRs, the target genes, the interactions per database, experimental methodology and key features of each database. The search yielded 10 databases, which in order of most cited to least were: miRTarBase, starBase/The Encyclopedia of RNA Interactomes, DIANA-TarBase, miRWalk, miRecords, miRGator, miRSystem, miRGate, miRSel and targetHub. Findings from this review suggest that the information presented within miR target validation databases can be enhanced by adding features such as flexibility in performing queries in multiple ways, downloadable data, ongoing updates and integrating tools for further miR-mRNA target interaction analysis. This review is designed to aid researchers, especially those new to miR bioinformatics tools, in database selection and to offer considerations for future development and upkeep of validation tools. Database URL

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbaad014
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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