The present study aims to elucidate the potential therapeutic role of lncRNA XIST in gastric cancer through regulation of microRNA-132 (miR-132) and paxillin (PXN) expression. The study employed 65 gastric cancer tissue specimens and SGC7901 cell lines. Our results demonstrated that expression of lncRNA XIST and PXN was significantly elevated while the expression of miR-132 was significantly reduced in gastric cancer tissues. Dual-luciferase, RNA pull-down and RIP assays demonstrated that lncRNA XIST up-regulated the PXN expression by competitively binding to miR-132. Moreover, silencing of lncRNA XIST and up-regulation of miR-132 could suppress tumor formation ability, cell proliferation and migration, but enhanced apoptosis in gastric cancer. However, the overexpression of PXN achieved the opposite tumor-promotive effect. Meanwhile, rescue experiments suggested that silencing of lncRNA XIST could reverse the tumor-promotive effect exerted by either miR-132 inhibitor or PXN. Taken together, the present study demonstrates lncRNA XIST as a novel oncogenic lncRNA in gastric cancer, highlighting its therapeutic role in this disease.