Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a common cancer in China, which was mainly caused by smoking and HPV infection. With the advancement of molecular research, it is meaningful to explore the biomarkers of HNSCC. LINC01207 (small integral membrane protein 31, also known as SMIM31) is a verified oncogene in colorectal adenocarcinoma. Present study aimed to explore the function of LINC01207 in HNSCC cells. Function assays including EdU, colony formation, TUNEL and JC-1 assay revealed that LINC01207 was an oncogene in HNSCC cells. Next, by some mechanism assays including RIP assay and luciferase reporter assay, miR-5047 was identified as the downstream gene of LINC01207. Subsequently, trinucleotide repeat containing adaptor 6B (TNRC6B) was verified as the target of miR-5047. LINC01207 boosted HNSCC cell proliferation and stemness characteristics via acting as a ceRNA of TNRC6B to bind miR-5047. Then, we identified that transcription of both LINC01207 and TNRC6B was induced by FOXA1, which played a tumor facilitator role in HNSCC cells. In a word, present study uncovered a novel ceRNA mechanism of LINC01207/miR-5047/TNRC6B in HNSCC cells, which might contribute to HNSCC treatment.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.