Several novel, differentially transcribed genes were identified in one centroblastic and one immunoblastic HIV-associated B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL) by subtractive cloning. In both lymphomas, we detected an upregulated transcription of several mitochondrial genes. In the centroblastic B-NHL, we found a high level transcription of nuclear genes including the interferon-inducible gene (INF-ind), the immunoglobulin light chain gene (IgL), the set oncogene, and several unknown genes. The data obtained on upregulated expression of the genes in human B-NHL of HIV-infected patients considerably overlap with those obtained earlier for the B-NHL of simian immunodeficiency virus-infected monkeys. In the centroblastic lymphoma, one transcript revealed a fusion of the 3'-untranslated region of the set gene and the C-terminal region of the IgL gene. This chimeric sequence was confirmed by a site-directed polymerase chain reaction performed with total cDNA and genomic DNA. The expected amplification product was obtained in both cases pointing to a genomic rearrangement. The IgL-set fusion sequence was not found in cDNA preparations and genomic DNA of the immunoblastic HIV-associated B-NHL. Further studies are necessary to determine whether these genes contribute to lymphoma development or can be used as therapeutic targets.