Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) exhibit concurrent deficits in both sensory and higher-order cognitive processing. Connectome studies have suggested a principal primary-to-transmodal gradient in functional brain networks, supporting the spectrum from sensation to cognition. However, whether this gradient structure is disrupted in patients with MDD and how this disruption associates with gene expression profiles and treatment outcome remain unknown. Using a large cohort of resting-state fMRI data from 2227 participants (1148 MDD patients and 1079 healthy controls) recruited at nine sites, we investigated MDD-related alterations in the principal connectome gradient. We further used Neurosynth, postmortem gene expression, and an 8-week antidepressant treatment (20 MDD patients) data to assess the meta-analytic cognitive functions, transcriptional profiles, and treatment outcomes related to MDD gradient alterations, respectively. Relative to the controls, MDD patients exhibited global topographic alterations in the principal primary-to-transmodal gradient, including reduced explanation ratio, gradient range, and gradient variation (Cohen’s d = 0.16–0.21), and focal alterations mainly in the primary and transmodal systems (d = 0.18–0.25). These gradient alterations were significantly correlated with meta-analytic terms involving sensory processing and higher-order cognition. The transcriptional profiles explained 53.9% variance of the altered gradient pattern, with the most correlated genes enriched in transsynaptic signaling and calcium ion binding. The baseline gradient maps of patients significantly predicted symptomatic improvement after treatment. These results highlight the connectome gradient dysfunction in MDD and its linkage with gene expression profiles and clinical management, providing insight into the neurobiological underpinnings and potential biomarkers for treatment evaluation in this disorder.