BackgroundLong noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) have been reported to critically regulate gastric cancer (GC). Recently, it was reported that LBX2 antisense RNA 1 (LBX2-AS1) is abnormally expressed in GC. However, the role of LBX2-AS1 in the malignancy of GC is worth further discussion.MethodsQuantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine the LBX2-AS1, miR-4766-5p and C-X-C motif chemokine (CXCL5) expression in GC tissues and cells. Dual-luciferase reporter assay was applied to examine the target relationship between LBX2-AS1 and miR-4766-5p or miR-4766-5p and CXCL5. Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and Transwell assays were used to detect cell proliferation, migration and invasion rates. The protein expression of CXCL5 was confirmed using western blot. The RNA pull down experiment was used to verify the specificity of LBX2-AS1 and miR-4766-5p on BGC-823 and SGC-7901 cells.ResultsLBX2-AS1 was up-regulated in GC tissues and cells, and its knockdown suppressed proliferation, migration and invasion of GC cells. While, overexpression of LBX2-AS1 increased proliferation and increased CXCL5 mRNA level. CXCL5 improved cell proliferation, migration and invasion of GC cells. LBX2-AS1 could bind to miR-4766-5p to regulate CXCL5 expression. Overexpression of CXCL5 overturned those effects of miR-4766-5p in GC cells. RNA Pull down shown that BGC-823 and SGC-7901 cells, miR-4766-5p specifically binds to LBX2-AS1.ConclusionsIn short, this study demonstrated that LBX2-AS1 promoted proliferation, migration and invasion through up-regulation CXCL5 mediated by miR-4766-5p in GC. The LBX2-AS1/miR-4766-5p/CXCL5 regulatory axis provides a theoretical basis for the research on lncRNA-directed therapeutics in GC.