The t(10;14) translocation involving the HOX11 gene is found in several T-cell leukemia patients. Previous efforts to determine the causes of HOX11 fragility were not successful. The role of non-B DNA structures is increasingly becoming an important cause of genomic instability. In the present study, bioinformatics analysis revealed two G-quadruplex-forming motifs at the HOX11 breakpoint cluster. Gel shift assays showed formation of both intra- and intermolecular G-quadruplexes, the latter being more predominant. The structure formation was dependent on four stretches of guanines, as revealed by mutagenesis. Circular dichroism analysis identified parallel conformations for both quadruplexes. The non-B DNA structure could block polymerization during replication on a plasmid, resulting in consistent K(+)-dependent pause sites, which were abolished upon mutation of G-motifs, thereby demonstrating the role of the stretches of guanines even on double-stranded DNA. Extrachromosomal assays showed that the G-quadruplex motifs could block transcription, leading to reduced expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) within cells. More importantly, sodium bisulfite modification assay showed the single-stranded character at regions I and II of HOX11 in the genome. Thus, our findings suggest the occurrence of G-quadruplex structures at the HOX11 breakpoint region, which could explain its fragility during the t(10;14) translocation.