Endometriosis is a common reproductive disorder in women, with a global prevalence of 10-15%. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are critical to gene transcription, cell cycle modulation and immune response. The lncRNA metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) reportedly mediates autophagy of endometrial stromal cells in endometriosis. The present study aimed to evaluate the role and mechanism of MALAT1 in granulosa cells (GCs) in endometriosis. Consequently, MALAT1 expression was upregulated in GCs obtained from patients with endometriosis and in the steroidogenic human granulosa-like tumor cell line KGN. However, MALAT1 knockdown consequently decreased the proliferation and viability of these cells, as determined by MTT and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine staining assays. Both Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide flow cytometry and western blotting performed to detect proapoptotic factors indicated that MALAT1 depletion might promote KGN cell apoptosis. Furthermore, MALAT1 knockdown increased GC autophagy, as evidenced by microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3) cleavage upregulation and p62 degradation. In addition, although 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mRNA expression and protein levels decreased in GCs obtained from patients with endometriosis and KGN cells, MALAT1 knockdown restored AMPK levels. However, addition of BML-275 (MALAT1 inhibitor) to MALAT1-knockdown KGN cells recovered their viability and proliferative capacity and simultaneously reduced their apoptotic and autophagic capacity. Therefore, MALAT1 may regulate GC proliferation via AMPK-mTOR-mediated cell apoptosis and autophagy.