Diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) is a complex disorder related to dysfunctions in the serotonergic system. As cis-regulatory variants can play a role in the etiology of complex conditions, we investigated the untranslated regions (UTRs) of the serotonin receptor type 3 subunit genes HTR3A and HTR3E. Mutation analysis was carried out in a pilot sample of 200 IBS patients and 100 healthy controls from the UK. The novel HTR3E 3'-UTR variant c.*76G>A (rs62625044) was associated with female IBS-D (P = 0.033, OR = 8.53). This association was confirmed in a replication study, including 119 IBS-D patients and 195 controls from Germany (P = 0.0046, OR = 4.92). Pooled analysis resulted in a highly significant association of c.*76G>A with female IBS-D (P = 0.0002, OR = 5.39). In a reporter assay, c.*76G>A affected binding of miR-510 to the HTR3E 3'-UTR and caused elevated luciferase expression. HTR3E and miR-510 co-localize in enterocytes of the gut epithelium as shown by in situ hybridization and RT-PCR. This is the first example indicating micro RNA-related expression regulation of a serotonin receptor gene with a cis-regulatory variant affecting this regulation and appearing to be associated with female IBS-D.