Pharmaco-miR: linking microRNAs and drug effects

Brief Bioinform. 2014 Jul;15(4):648-59. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbs082. Epub 2013 Jan 31.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short regulatory RNAs that down-regulate gene expression. They are essential for cell homeostasis and active in many disease states. A major discovery is the ability of miRNAs to determine the efficacy of drugs, which has given rise to the field of 'miRNA pharmacogenomics' through 'Pharmaco-miRs'. miRNAs play a significant role in pharmacogenomics by down-regulating genes that are important for drug function. These interactions can be described as triplet sets consisting of a miRNA, a target gene and a drug associated with the gene. We have developed a web server which links miRNA expression and drug function by combining data on miRNA targeting and protein-drug interactions. miRNA targeting information derive from both experimental data and computational predictions, and protein-drug interactions are annotated by the Pharmacogenomics Knowledge base (PharmGKB). Pharmaco-miR's input consists of miRNAs, genes and/or drug names and the output consists of miRNA pharmacogenomic sets or a list of unique associated miRNAs, genes and drugs. We have furthermore built a database, named Pharmaco-miR Verified Sets (VerSe), which contains miRNA pharmacogenomic data manually curated from the literature, can be searched and downloaded via Pharmaco-miR and informs on trends and generalities published in the field. Overall, we present examples of how Pharmaco-miR provides possible explanations for previously published observations, including how the cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil resistance induced by miR-148a may be caused by miR-148a targeting of the gene KIT. The information is available at

Keywords: Pharmaco-miR; database; miRNA pharmacogenomic set; microRNAs; pharmacogenomics; web server.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic
  • Down-Regulation
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Pharmacogenetics


  • MicroRNAs