The TP53 mutation profile in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and the correlation of TP53 mutations with allele status or associated molecular genetics are currently unknown. We performed a large mutation analysis of TP53 at four centers and characterized the pattern of TP53 mutations in CLL. We report on 268 mutations in 254 patients with CLL. Missense mutations appeared in 74% of cases compared with deletions and insertions (20%), nonsense (4%) and splice site (2%) mutations. The majority (243 of 268) of mutations were located in the DNA-binding domain. Transitions were found in 131 of 268 mutations, with only 41 occurring at methylated CpG sites (15%), suggesting that transitions at CpGs are uncommon. The codons most frequently mutated were at positions 175, 179, 248 and 273; in addition, we detected a common 2-nt deletion in the codon 209. Most mutations (199 of 259) were accompanied by deletion of the other allele (17p-). Interestingly, trisomy 12 (without 17p-) was only found in one of 60 cases with TP53 mutation (without 17p-) compared with 60 of 16 in the cohort without mutation (P=0.006). The mutational profile was not different in the cohorts with and without previous therapy, suggesting that the mechanism underlying the development of mutations may be similar, independent of treatment.