The gene (E2A) for enhancer binding transcription factors E12 and E47 maps to the t(1;19) chromosomal translocation breakpoint in pre-B cell leukemias. Altered E2A transcripts lacking sequences coding for the helix-loop-helix DNA binding motif were detected in several t(1;19)-carrying cell lines. Fusion cDNAs that crossed the t(1;19) breakpoint were cloned and shown to code for an 85 kd protein consisting of the amino-terminal two-thirds of E2A fused to a chromosome 1-derived protein. The fusion protein has the features of a chimeric transcription factor in which the DNA binding domain of E2A is replaced by the putative DNA binding domain of a homeoprotein from chromosome 1 for which the name Prl (pre-B cell leukemia) is proposed. Identical E2A-prl mRNA junctions were detected by PCR in three t(1;19)-carrying cell lines, indicating that the fusion transcripts and predicted chimeric protein are a consistent feature of this translocation.