MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs with 18-26 nucleotides; they pair with target mRNAs to regulate gene expression and produce significant changes in various physiological and pathological processes. In recent years, the interaction between miRNAs and their target genes has become one of the mainstream directions for drug development. As a large-scale biological database that mainly provides miRNA-target interactions (MTIs) verified by biological experiments, miRTarBase has undergone five revisions and enhancements. The database has accumulated >2 200 449 verified MTIs from 13 389 manually curated articles and CLIP-seq data. An optimized scoring system is adopted to enhance this update's critical recognition of MTI-related articles and corresponding disease information. In addition, single-nucleotide polymorphisms and disease-related variants related to the binding efficiency of miRNA and target were characterized in miRNAs and gene 3' untranslated regions. miRNA expression profiles across extracellular vesicles, blood and different tissues, including exosomal miRNAs and tissue-specific miRNAs, were integrated to explore miRNA functions and biomarkers. For the user interface, we have classified attributes, including RNA expression, specific interaction, protein expression and biological function, for various validation experiments related to the role of miRNA. We also used seed sequence information to evaluate the binding sites of miRNA. In summary, these enhancements render miRTarBase as one of the most research-amicable MTI databases that contain comprehensive and experimentally verified annotations. The newly updated version of miRTarBase is now available at https://miRTarBase.cuhk.edu.cn/.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.