Emerging studies have noted that dysregulated lncRNAs are implicated in cancer progression and tumorigenesis. We first showed that MSC-AS1 was overexpressed in gastric cancer (GC) cells (HGC-27, MKN-45, SGC-7901 and MGC-803 cells) compared with GES cells. We observed that MSC-AS1 was upregulated in GC specimens compared with paired normal specimens. MSC-AS1 increased cell growth and cycle progression. Moreover, the overexpression of MSC-AS1 enhanced the secretion of the inflammatory mediators IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. We found that the overexpression of MSC-AS1 inhibited the expression of miR-142-5p in HGC-27 cells. We noted that DDK5 was a target gene of miR-142-5p. The overexpression of miR-142-5p suppressed the luciferase activity of wild-type DDX5, but the luciferase activity of the mutant DDX5 was not changed. We showed that miR-142-5p was downregulated in GC specimens compared with paired normal specimens. MSC-AS1 expression was inversely correlated with miR-142-5p expression in GC specimens. MSC-AS1 induced cell growth, cell cycle progression and inflammatory mediator secretion by modulating DDX5. These results showed that MSC-AS1 functions as a key oncogene in the development of GC.