BackgroundSystematic profiling studies have implicated regulators of pre-mRNA splicing as important disease determinants in gastric cancer (GC), but the underlying mechanisms have remained elusive. Here we focused on hnRNPA2B1 splicing factor-dependent mechanisms governing GC development.MethodsThe expression of hnRNPA2B1 was analyzed among the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets of GC and validated at mRNA level. The function of hnRNPA2B1 in GC cells was analyzed and its downstream gene was identified using RNA immunoprecipitation. Further, effect of hnRNPA2B1 on BIRC5 alternative splicing was investigated.ResultsWe show that overexpression of hnRNPA2B1 in GC is correlated with poor survival, and hnRNPA2B1 is required for maintaining GC malignant phenotype by promoting cell proliferation, inhibiting cell apoptosis and increasing cell metastasis. Mechanistically, hnRNPA2B1 co-expressed with several core spliceosome components and controls alternative splicing of anti-apoptotic factor BIRC5. BIRC5 isoform 202 (BIRC5-202) played the oncogenic function in GC cells, and overexpression of the BIRC5-202 transcript partly rescued the decrease in cisplatin resistance induced by downregulation of hnRNPA2B1.ConclusionsWe demonstrate that hnRNPA2B1 regulates BIRC5 splicing and might act as a therapeutic target of chemo-resistant GC cells.