Recent studies suggested that calreticulin (CRT) has an important role in the progression of various types of cancer. Our previous study suggested that CRT was upregulated and acted as an oncogene in hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the role of CRT in gallbladder cancer (GBC) remains unclear. The expression level of CRT was upregulated in GBC tissues in comparison with adjacent non-tumor tissues and chronic cholecystitis tissues. Moreover, CRT expression was found to be correlated with the tumor size. Knockdown of CRT inhibited cell proliferation, induced apoptosis, arrested cell cycle and resulted in decreased resistance to gemcitabine, which was mediated by the inactivation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Collectively, the present results suggested a potential role of CRT in GBC progression and provided novel insights into the mechanism underlying the CRT-mediated chemosensitivity in GBC cells.