P311, a highly conserved 8-kDa intracellular protein, has been indicated as an important factor in myofibroblast transformation and in the progression of fibrosis. In the present study, we constructed a recombinant adenovirus vector of p311 (called Ad-P311) and transferred it into rat renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (NRK-52E) to explore the effect of P311 on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of NRK-52E cells induced by TGF-β1 and to elucidate its underlying mechanism against EMT. After successfully construction of Ad-P311 and transfer into NRK-52E cells, the proliferation and growth of P311-expressing cells was detected by MTT assay. TGF-β1 was used to induce NRK-52E cells and Western blot analysis was used to examine the EMT markers (E-cadherin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)), signal transducers (p-Smad2/3 and Smad7). Integrin Linked Kinase (ILK) as a key intracellular mediator that controls TGF-β1-induced-EMT was also assayed by Western blot analysis. The results showed that P311 transfection could significantly inhibit the proliferation and growth of TGF-β1 induced NRK-52E cells. The results also showed that TGF-β1 could induce EMT in NRK-52E cells through Smad-ILK signaling pathway with an increase in α-SMA, pSmad2/3 and ILK expression, and a decrease in E-cadherin and Smad7 expression. However, P311 efficiently blocked Smad-ILK pathway activation and attenuated all these EMT changes induced by TGF-β1. These findings suggest that P311 might be involved in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis by inhibiting the EMT process via TGF-β1-Smad-ILK pathway. P311 might be a novel target for the control of renal fibrosis and the progression of CKD.