Thyroid cancer (TC) is an endocrine malignancy with rising incidence. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can serve as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for TC. Thus, we studied roles of LINC01296 in TC progression. Initially, the Gene Expression Omnibus database was used to detect the differentially expressed genes in human TC samples and the potential mechanism. Expression of LINC01296 and miR-143-3p in TC tissues and cells was measured. The transfection of TC cells was conducted with si-LINC01296, si-MSI2, mimic or inhibitor of miR-143-3p to determine their effects on TC cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis and the AKT/STAT3 signaling pathway. Finally, in vivo assay was performed to verify role of miR-143-3p in tumorigenesis of TC cells in nude mice. LINC01296 was predicted to bind to miR-143-3p to modulate MSI2 expression, thus regulating the occurrence and development of TC. LINC01296 was upregulated, while miR-143-3p was downregulated in TC cells and tissues. LNC01296 specifically bound to miR-143-3p and MSI2 was a target of miR-143-3p. Besides, LINC01296 silencing or miR-143-3p overexpression inhibited migration, invasion, proliferation and advanced apoptosis of TC cells. Additionally, silenced LINC01296 or overexpressed miR-143-3p reduced phosphorylated STAT3/STAT3, phosphorylated AKT/AKT, Bcl-2 and CyclinD1 levels but elevated Bax, Cleaved Caspase3 and Caspase3 levels. Also, tumorigenesis of TC cells in nude mice was inhibited with the silencing of LINC01296. In summary, LINC01296/miR-143-3p/MSI2 axis regulated development of TC through the AKT/STAT3 signaling pathway.

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