The protective role of fibrinogen‑like‑protein 1 (FGL1) in liver injury has been reported previously. However, there are few studies on FGL1 expression in gastric cancer (GC) tissues, and the role of FGL1 in GC remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation between FGL1 expression and prognosis in GC patients. Data was downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas database, and 50 pairs of GC tissues and the corresponding non‑tumor tissues were collected between 2008 to 2011. Furthermore, FGL1 expression was silenced in order to explore its role in SGC‑7901 cell proliferation, invasion and migration using Cell Counting Kit‑8, wound healing, Transwell invasion and migration assays, respectively. Finally, whether FGL1 is involved in epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulation in SGC‑7901 cells was determined by western blotting. The results revealed that FGL1 expression was upregulated in GC tissues, and the overall survival time of GC patients with high FGL1 expression levels was markedly shorter than that of GC patients with low FGL1 expression levels (P=0.005). In addition, silencing FGL1 significantly inhibited SGC‑7901 cell proliferation, invasion and migration in vitro. Finally, western blot analyses indicated that knockdown of FGL1 markedly increased E‑cadherin expression levels (P<0.01), and significantly decreased N‑cadherin (P<0.01) and vimentin expression levels (P<0.01), thereby suggesting that FGL1 may promote EMT. These results indicated that FGL1 has the potential to be a predictor in GC patients as well as a target for the treatment of GC.