The Burkitt lymphoma cell line KK124, which contains a reciprocal t(8;22) translocation, was shown to have rearranged in a region 3' to the c-myc proto-oncogene on chromosome 8 and 5' to the lambda constant region on chromosome 22. The breakpoint was cloned and sequenced, revealing that c-myc and a portion of its 3' region abutted a complete lambda variable gene that had undergone V-J recombination. Since this cell line expresses kappa light chain, this lambda rearrangement violates the previously proposed hierarchy of immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. A novel duplication of normal chromosome 8 sequences was also found at the breakpoint. The first exon of c-myc and its flanking sequence from the translocated allele was sequenced and compared with a normal counterpart. Extensive mutation was found within the first exon in contrast to its 3' and 5' flanking regions. S1 nuclease analysis revealed that it was the translocated c-myc being expressed and that there was a promoter shift from P2 to P1. The detailed structural analysis of this cell line provides clues concerning mechanisms of chromosomal translocation and c-myc deregulation in Burkitt lymphomas.