The t(11;14)(q13;q32) translocation and its molecular counterpart, BCL- 1 rearrangement, are consistent features of intermediate lymphocytic lymphoma (ILL). Rearrangement is thought to deregulate the nearby PRAD- 1/BCL-1 proto-oncogene that is a newly identified member of the cyclin family. To characterize further the association between rearrangement of chromosome 11q13 and over-expression of BCL-1. Southern blot analysis was performed in 33 cases of ILL, 5 cases of t(11;14)- associated leukemias, and 1 case of leukemia carrying a variant translocation t(11;19)(q13;q13) using three separate BCL-1 locus probes. When RNA was available, BCL-1 expression was assessed by Northern blot analysis. DNA from 19 of 33 ILL (57%) showed BCL-1 rearrangement, 16 involving the major translocation cluster (MTC) region and 3 involving a new breakpoint cluster located in the 5' flanking region of the BCL-1 gene. DNA from 3 of 6 t(11q13)-associated leukemias demonstrated a rearrangement involving the MTC. Northern blot analysis showed that BCL-1 was overexpressed in 14 of 15 ILL and in all leukemias analyzed (included the t(11;19) leukemia) relative to normal and malignant lymphoid tissues. These results constitute additional elements in favor of the role of BCL-1 in lymphoid neoplasia and allow us to speculate about its mechanisms of activation.