As a new group of important effector molecules involved in multiple cancer types, including breast cancer, lung cancer and oral squamous cell carcinoma, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have attracted considerable attention recently. However, the underlying cause that induces the dysregulated lncRNAs in cancer remains poorly understood. In the present study, the regulatory model of the lncRNA placenta‑specific protein 2 (PLAC2) upregulation in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was investigated and its biological functions in OSCC malignant progression was identified. A reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay identified that PLAC2 is upregulated in OSCC cell lines and primary tissue samples. Furthermore, bioinformatic analysis followed by chromatin immunoprecipitation verified an enriched histone H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27) acetylation (H3K27ac) at the promoter region of the PLAC2 gene. Knockdown of cAMP‑response element binding protein‑binding protein (CBP) significantly reduced the enrichment level of H3K27ac, and thereby induced a decreased expression of PLAC2. Functionally, overexpression of PLAC2 promotes OSCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, whereas knockdown of PLAC2 exerted an opposite effect. Furthermore, the Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway was activated by PLAC2 and mediated the PLAC2‑induced malignant progress of OSCC. In conclusion, the present results indicated that lncRNA PLAC2 is transcriptionally activated by H3K27ac modification at the promoter region in OSCC, and promotes cell growth and metastasis via activating Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway. Therefore, PLAC2 may serve as a promising biomarker for OSCC prognosis and therapy.