Turning Data to Knowledge: Online Tools, Databases, and Resources in microRNA Research

Ido Blass, Keren Zohar, Michal Linial

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) provide a fundamental layer of regulation in cells. miRNAs act posttranscriptionally through complementary base-pairing with the 3′-UTR of a target mRNA, leading to mRNA degradation and translation arrest. The likelihood of forming a valid miRNA-target duplex within cells was computationally predicted and experimentally monitored. In human cells, the miRNA profiles determine their identity and physiology. Therefore, alterations in the composition of miRNAs signify many cancer types and chronic diseases. In this chapter, we introduce online functional tools and resources to facilitate miRNA research. We start by introducing currently available miRNA catalogs and miRNA-gateway portals for navigating among different miRNA-centric online resources. We then sketch several realistic challenges that may occur while investigating miRNA regulation in living cells. As a showcase, we demonstrate the utility of miRNAs and mRNAs expression databases that cover diverse human cells and tissues, including resources that report on genetic alterations affecting miRNA expression levels and alteration in binding capacity. Introducing tools linking miRNAs with transcription factor (TF) networks reveals miRNA regulation complexity within living cells. Finally, we concentrate on online resources that analyze miRNAs in human diseases and specifically in cancer. Altogether, we introduce contemporary, selected resources and online tools for studying miRNA regulation in cells and tissues and their utility in health and disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology


  • Cell states
  • Data integration
  • Data mining
  • Data retrieval
  • ceRNA
  • miRNA expression
  • miRNA families

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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