BackgroundLuminal subtype is the most common subgroup of breast cancer (BC), accounting for more than 70% of this cancer. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a group of RNAs which play critical roles in diverse cellular processes. It is proved that dysregulation of them can contribute to the development of various cancers, including BC. LINC00961 was reported to be downregulated in several cancers, however, its expression level in BC remains largely unknown. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the possible role of LINC00961 in luminal A and B subtypes of BC.MethodsTo obtain novel lncRNAs associated with different cancers and differentially expressed lncRNAs (DElncRNAs) between BC tumor and normal tissues, Lnc2Cancer and GDC databases were used, respectively. After performing literature review, the expression level of the selected lncRNA (LINC00961) was evaluated in 79 luminal A and B BC specimens and adjacent non-cancerous tissues by Quantitative Reverse Transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). LINC00961 expression was also evaluated in two luminal A BC cell lines, compared to a normal breast cell line. The comparison of the differences between tumor and adjacent non-tumor samples was performed by paired sample t-test. Moreover, correlation analysis between LINC00961 expression and clinicopathological features was performed using the chi-square, fisher exact, and independent t-test. In order to investigate the possible roles of LINC00961 in luminal A and B BC, different bioinformatics analyses such as functional annotation of the LINC00961 co-expressed genes and protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks construction were also performed.ResultsLINC00961 was selected as a significant DElncRNA which had not been studied in BC. According to q-RT PCR assay, LINC00961 was downregulated in luminal BC tissues and cell lines. Its expression was correlated with smoking status and the age of menarche in luminal BC patients. Also, the results of the bioinformatics analysis were consistent with the data obtained from q-RT PCR assay. The final results indicated that LINC00961 might be involved in multiple cancer-associated pathways such as chemokine, Ras and PI3K–Akt signaling pathways, GPCR ligand binding, and signal transduction in luminal subtypes of BC. CDH5, GNG11, GNG8, SELL, S1PR1, CCL19, FYN, ACAN, CD3E, ACVRL1, CAV1, and PPARGC1A were identified as the top hub genes of the PPI networks across luminal subgroup.ConclusionOur findings suggested that LINC00961 was significantly downregulated in luminal A and B subtypes of BC. Moreover, bioinformatics analysis provided a basis for better identification of the potential role of LINC00961 in luminal subtype of BC.