MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulatory RNAs that control gene expression in various biological processes. Therefore, control over the disease-related miRNA expression is important both for basic research and for a new class of therapeutic modality to treat serious diseases such as cancer. Here, we present a high-throughput screening strategy to identify small molecules that modulate miRNA expression in living cells. The screen enables simultaneous monitoring of the phenotypic cellular changes associated with the miRNA expression by measuring quantitative fluorescent signals corresponding to target miRNA level in living cells based on a novel biosensor composed of peptide nucleic acid and nano-sized graphene oxide. In this study, the biosensor based cellular screening of 967 compounds (including FDA-approved drugs, enzyme inhibitors, agonists, and antagonists) in cells identified four different classes of small molecules consisting of (i) 70 compounds that suppress both miRNA-21 (miR-21) expression and cell proliferation, (ii) 65 compounds that enhance miR-21 expression and reduce cell proliferation, (iii) 2 compounds that suppress miR-21 expression and increase cell proliferation, and (iv) 21 compounds that enhance both miR-21 expression and cell proliferation. We further investigated the hit compounds to correlate cell morphology changes and cell migration ability with decreased expression of miR-21.