Tripartite motif‑containing 27 (TRIM27) belongs to the tripartite motif (TRIM) protein family and is involved in various malignant tumor processes. However, the function and mechanism of TRIM27 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains to be elucidated. In the present study, the expression of TRIM27 was analyzed in CRC tissues and adjacent normal tissues by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. LoVo and HCT116 cell lines were then selected to further investigate the function of TRIM27 in the proliferation, invasion and metastasis of CRC in vitro and in vivo. Finally, the potential mechanism underlying the effects of TRIM27 in CRC was examined by western blotting. The results showed that TRIM27 was upregulated in CRC tissues, and the expression level of TRIM27 was significantly associated with tumor invasion, metastasis and prognosis. Following TRIM27 inhibition and overexpression in CRC cells, it was found that TRIM27 promoted cell proliferation, possibly via the inhibition of apoptosis and cell cycle regulation. TRIM27 also facilitated invasion and metastasis. Finally, it was observed that TRIM27 promoted epithelial‑mesenchymal transition and activated phosphorylated AKT serine/threonine kinase in CRC cells. These results suggested that TRIM27 is an oncogenic protein in the progression of CRC, and may represent a novel target for CRC detection and therapy.