Two human T-cell leukemias carrying a t(8;14)(q24;q11) chromosome translocation were studied for rearrangements and expression of the c-myc oncogene. For one leukemia, rearrangement was detected in a region immediately distal (3') to the c-myc locus; no rearrangements of c-myc were observed in the second case (DeF). However, studies with hybrids between human and mouse leukemic T cells indicated that in the leukemic cells of DeF, the breakpoint in chromosome 14 occurred between genes for the variable (V alpha) and the constant (C alpha) regions for the alpha chain of the T-cell receptor. The C alpha locus had translocated to a region more than 38 kilobases 3' to the involved c-myc oncogene. Since human c-myc transcripts were expressed only in hybrids carrying the 8q+ chromosome but not in hybrids containing the normal chromosome 8, it is concluded that the translocation of the C alpha locus 3' to the c-myc oncogene can result in its transcriptional deregulation.

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