The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) gene is commonly involved in translocations in infantile leukemia and is amplified in some cases of adult myeloid leukemia. A homolog of MLL denoted MLL2, which represents the second human homolog of the Drosophila trithorax gene, was characterized by assembling ESTs, the KIAA0304 cDNA clone, RT - PCR fragments and a new clone isolated from a cDNA phage library and compared to the available genomic sequence. The MLL2 gene maps to 19q13.1, a region of frequent rearrangement or amplification in solid tumors. MLL2 consists of an 8.5 - 9 kb transcript and spans 20 kb of genomic DNA. The predicted MLL2 protein possesses all of the major domains defined in MLL and the two genes have a similar genomic structure. We find that MLL2 is amplified in two of 14 pancreatic carcinoma cell lines and one of five glioblastoma cell lines and is a likely critical gene in 19q13.1 amplifications. It is also a candidate for chromosomal rearrangements involving this chromosome locus. MLL2 is one additional mammalian trithorax-group gene with involvement in human cancer.