This study aimed to explore the mechanism of adriamycin resistance in human chronic myelogenous leukemia cells. Proteomic approach was utilized to compare and identify differentially expressed proteins between human chronic myelogenous leukemia K562 cells and their adriamycin-resistant counterparts. The differentially expressed proteins were analyzed by 2-DE (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis), and protein identification were performed on ESI-Q-TOF MS/MS instrument. Out of the 35 differentially expressed proteins between the two cell lines, 29 were identified and grouped into 10 functional classes. Most of identified proteins were related to the categories of metabolism (24%), proteolysis (13%), signal transduction (21%) and calcium ion binding (6%), suggesting that alterations of those biological processes might be involved in adriamycin resistance of K562 cells. We believe this study may provide some clues to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying adriamycin resistance.