We cloned the t(10;14) recurrent translocation from CD3-negative T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. The breakpoint at 14q11 involved an intermediate rearrangement of the δ T-cell receptor locus, suggesting that the translocation arose at the time of antigen receptor assemblage. Translocation introduced chromosome segment 10q24 as proven by hybridization of a breakpoint-derived probe to flow-sorted chromosomes and metaphase chromosomes. Two t(10;14) breakpoints were clustered within a 600-base-pair region of 10q24 but no heptamer-spacer-nonamer motifs resembling T-cell receptor/immunoglobulin rearrangement signals were noted at the breakpoint. A locus distinct from terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase was found at 10q24. Evolutionarily conserved regions surrounding the 10q24 breakpoint were examined for transcriptional activity. A region telomeric to the 10q24 breakpoint, expected to translocate to the der(14) chromosome, recognized an abundant 2.9-kilobase RNA in a t(10;14) T-cell leukemia. This locus was not active in a variety of other normal and neoplastic T cells, arguing that it was deregulated by the introduction of the T-cell receptor. This locus is a candidate for a putative protooncogene, TCL3, involved in T-cell neoplasia.