Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is a potent growth inhibitor and apoptosis inducer for most normal cells. However, tumor cells are commonly nevertheless sensitive to the tumor-suppressing effects of TGF-beta1. In this paper, we focus on the effects of TGF-beta1 on two important anti-apoptotic protein kinases, protein kinase B (PKB), and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), in SMMC-7721 cells. We found that PKB-Ser-473 phosphorylation was apparently up-regulated by TGF-beta1. In the meantime, PKB-Thr-308 phosphorylation was slightly up-regulated by TGF-beta1. TGF-beta1 could also enhance FAK-Tyr phosphorylation. We observed that integrin-linked kinase (ILK) was also up-regulated by TGF-beta1 in good accordance with PKB-Ser-473 phosphorylation. We first found that TGF-beta1 could stimulate PKB-Ser-473 phosphorylation possibly via up-regulating ILK expression. Furthermore, we also failed to detect PKB-Ser-473 and FAK-Tyr phosphorylation with various concentrations of TGF-beta1 treatment when cells were kept in suspension. The above results indicate that PKB-Ser-473 and FAK-Tyr phosphorylation stimulated by TGF-beta1 are both dependent on cell adhesion.