Overexpression of differentiated embryo chondrocyte 1 (DEC1) has been reported to contribute to the cellular differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis of various cancers. Our previous studies have shown that DEC1 was highly expressed in gastric cancer (GCa) tissues. However, there is no report about the expression of DEC1 in GCa cell lines until now. In this study, We evaluated the mRNA and protein expression of DEC1 and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions in six GCa cell lines: BGC-823, MGC80-3, MKN1, AGS, FU97 and SGC-7901. An HIF-1α protein inhibitor was used to analyze the association of DEC1 and HIF-1α expression. Under normoxia, the mRNA expression of both HIF-1α and DEC1 was moderate, whereas the protein expression of DEC1 was higher than that of HIF-1α. Hypoxia induced the mRNA expression of DEC1 and the protein expression of HIF-1α and DEC1 in a time-dependent manner but had no effect on the mRNA expression of HIF-1α. Furthermore, inhibition of HIF-1α protein expression resulted in a significant decrease in both the mRNA and protein expression of DEC1. Taken together, DEC1 expression is correlated with HIF-1α protein in GCa cell line, blockage of HIF-1α protein led to reduced DEC1 expression. The efficacy of inhibiting HIF-1α and DEC1 expression should be tested in clinical trials as possible treatment for GCa.