Salt stress is one of the major abiotic stresses in agriculture worldwide. We report here a systematic proteomic approach to investigate the salt stress-responsive proteins in rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Nipponbare). Three-week-old seedlings were treated with 150 mM NaCl for 24, 48 and 72 h. Total proteins of roots were extracted and separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. More than 1100 protein spots were reproducibly detected, including 34 that were up-regulated and 20 down-regulated. Mass spectrometry analysis and database searching helped us to identify 12 spots representing 10 different proteins. Three spots were identified as the same protein, enolase. While four of them were previously confirmed as salt stress-responsive proteins, six are novel ones, i.e. UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 6b-1, glutamine synthetase root isozyme, putative nascent polypeptide associated complex alpha chain, putative splicing factor-like protein and putative actin-binding protein. These proteins are involved in regulation of carbohydrate, nitrogen and energy metabolism, reactive oxygen species scavenging, mRNA and protein processing, and cytoskeleton stability. This study gives new insights into salt stress response in rice roots and demonstrates the power of the proteomic approach in plant biology studies.