The t(5;14)(q31;q32) translocation from B-lineage acute lymphocytic leukemia with eosinophilia has been cloned from two leukemia samples. In both cases, this translocation joined the IgH gene and the interleukin-3 (IL-3) gene. In one patient, excess IL-3 mRNA was produced by the leukemic cells. In the second patient, serum IL-3 levels were measured and shown to correlate with disease activity. There was no evidence of excess granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) or IL-5 expression. Our data support the formulation that this subtype of leukemia may arise in part because of a chromosome translocation that activates the IL-3 gene, resulting in autocrine and paracrine growth effects.

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