A human acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell line, BALM-16, was established from the peripheral blood specimen of a patient with B cell ALL L3 type (ALL-L3) in relapse. As with the original leukemia cells, the established line was negative for both cell surface and cytoplasmic immunoglobulin (Ig) chains. Absence of Ig expression was confirmed by Western blotting. Southern blot analysis demonstrated homozygous deletion of the C kappa gene, germ line configuration of the C lambda and rearrangement of IgJH genes. Cytogenetic analysis of both leukemic bone marrow and BALM-16 cells showed the t(8;22)(q24;q11) abnormality which is specifically associated with ALL-L3 and Burkitt lymphoma. The patient's serum showed hypercalcemia, prompting further investigation of the established cell lines which showed parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) mRNA detected by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. However, PTHrP production was not detected in the culture supernatant. The established cell line, BALM-16, could provide a useful material for analyzing the lack of Ig expression and of clarifying the pathogenesis of this type of B cell malignancy.