The gene (E2A) that codes for proteins with the properties of immunoglobulin enhancer binding factors E12/E47 was mapped to chromosome region 19p13.2-p13.3, a site associated with nonrandom translocations in acute lymphoblastic leukemias. The majority of t(1;19)(q23;p13)-carrying leukemias and cell lines studied contained rearrangements of E2A as determined by DNA blot analyses. The rearrangements altered the E2A transcriptional unit, resulting in the synthesis of a transcript larger than the normal-sized E2A mRNAs in one of the cell lines with this translocation. These observations indicate that the gene for a transcription factor is located at the breakpoint of a consistently recurring chromosomal translocation in many acute leukemias and suggest a direct role for alteration of such factors in the pathogenesis of some malignancies.

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