In order to avoid the complex conditions of the intact plant for simple analysis of proteins in wound-response stress, we used the detached rice leaf sheath which is a very active part of the rice seedling. Proteins were extracted from rice leaf sheath at 0, 12, 24, 48 h after cutting and separated by two-dimensional (2-D) polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Changes in differentially displayed proteins were found in leaf sheaths after cutting in the 0-48 h time course. Ten proteins were up-regulated, while 19 proteins were down-regulated compared with those on the four 2-D gels. Among them, 14 proteins were analyzed by N-terminal, or internal amino acid sequence. The clear functions of nine proteins could be identified. Six proteins did not yield amino acid sequence information due to their blocked N-termini. Furthermore, 11 proteins were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, and identified protein database matching. It was shown that the down-regulated proteins were calreticulin (nos. 5, 6), histone H1 (no. 15) and hemoglobin (no. 17), putative peroxidase (no. 19); the up-regulated proteins were Bowman-Birk trypsin inhibitor (no. 23), putative receptor-like protein kinase (nos. 24, 25), calmodulin-related protein (no. 26), small subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (no. 27), mannose-binding rice lectin (nos. 28, 29). Among all the above proteins, four (nos. 23, 24, 25, 26) have been confirmed to be wound-response proteins. The others cannot be excluded as also being related to wound-responses, such as the signal transduction-related proteins (nos. 5, 6), photosynthesis-related protein (no. 27), and stress-response proteins (nos. 19, 28, 29). This is the first time protein changes in response to wounding in rice leaf sheath have been shown.