The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression and role of Grhl2 in gastric cancer. Immunohistochemistry was performed to explore the expression of Grhl2 in gastric cancer and surrounding non-tumor tissues. Moreover, the mRNA and protein expression level of Grhl2 in human immortalized gastric epithelial cell line GES-1 and four gastric cancer cell lines (MGC803, SGC7901, MKN45, HGC27) were detected by qRT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. To further investigate the role of Grhl2 in gastric cancer as well as the potential mechanisms, SGC7901 cells were transfected with lentiviral constructs expressing Grhl2 or empty vector, and then proliferation and apoptosis of SGC7901 cells were evaluated by MTT assay and flow cytometry, respectively. Finally, the protein expression level of c-Myc and Bcl-2 was detected by Western blotting. Both mRNA and protein expression level of Grhl2 were significantly downregulated in gastric cancer. Exogenous Grhl2 transduced into SGC7901 cells significantly inhibited the proliferation and promoted apoptosis. Meanwhile, over-expression of Grhl2 decreased c-Myc and Bcl-2 protein expression level. Taken together, our results demonstrated that Grhl2 downregulated in gastric cancer and may function as a tumor suppressor and play an important role in the development and progression of gastric cancer. These results may provide a new clue for treatment for gastric cancer.