Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is considered a low hazard endocrine system cancer, but a considerable number of patients have poor prognosis because of lymph node metastasis and invasion of surrounding tissues. In this study, we analyzed the expression and function of the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) AGAP2-AS1 in PTC. We found that AGAP2-AS1 expression was significantly higher in human PTC tissues than adjacent noncancerous tissues (n=110; p<0.01) and correlated with lymph node metastasis (p=0.01) and tumor-node-metastasis stage (p=0.006). AGAP2-AS1 downregulation decreased migration and invasion by PTC cells, and reduced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2). AGAP2-AS1 upregulated MMP2 expression by competitively binding to microRNA-425-5p. In addition, miR-424-5p expression was decreased in PTC tissues and correlates negatively with the AGAP2-AS1 levels. These results demonstrate that AGAP2-AS1 expression is significantly elevated in PTC tissues and that, by binding to miRNA-425-5p, it upregulates the MMP2 expression, thereby increasing the invasiveness and migration capacity of PTC cells.