Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as important regulators in the development of cancer cells. However, the role and mechanisms of most lncRNAs in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) remain unknown. In this study, we investigated lncRNA expression profiles of PTC using RNA-seq in two groups of PTC tissues and adjacent normal tissues, and validated by real-time PCR analysis in another 53 pairs of tissues. We identified a novel lncRNA, n384546, which is highly expressed in PTC tissues and cell lines. n384546 expression was associated with clinicopathological features of PTC patients, such as tumor size, lymph node metastasis, and TNM stage. Functionally, knockdown of n384546 inhibited PTC cell proliferation, invasion, and migration both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we identified miR-145-5p as a key miRNA target of n384546 using online bioinformatics tools. Anti-miR-145 could partially reverse the effects of n384546 knockdown. Furthermore, we found that n384546 could regulate the expression of AKT3 by sponging miR-145-5p, which was confirmed using an in vitro luciferase assay. In conclusion, we validated n384546 as a novel oncogenic lncRNA in PTC and determined that the n384546/miR-145-5p/AKT3 pathway contributes to PTC progression, which might be used as potential therapeutic targets for PTC patients.