An inversion of chromosome 14 present in the tumor cells of a patient with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia of B-cell lineage was shown to be the result of a site-specific recombination event between an immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable gene and the joining segment of a T-cell receptor alpha chain. This rearrangement resulted in the formation of a hybrid gene, part immunoglobulin and part T-cell receptor. Furthermore, this hybrid gene was transcribed into messenger RNA with a completely open reading frame. Thus, two loci felt to be normally activated at distinct and disparate points in lymphocyte development were unified and expressed in this tumor.