The t(11;14)(p13;q13) translocation associated with T cell acute lymphocytic leukemia generates two abnormal chromosomes, designated 11p+ and 14q-. To investigate the mechanism of t(11;14)(p13;q11) formation, we analyzed the translocation junctions of 11p+ and 14q- from two patients. The 11p+ junctions consisted of precise fusions of a pseudo recombination signal from chromosome 11 and the downstream recombination signal of the TCR D delta 2 gene segment from chromosome 14. In contrast, the 14q- junctions from both patients were diversified by random loss and addition of nucleotides at the translocation site. This asymmetric pattern of junctional diversification is typical of normal Ig/TCR gene rearrangement, and therefore implies that the t(11;14)(p13;q11) translocation arose due to aberrant activity of the Ig/TCR recombinase.

This content is only available as a PDF.