Acute myeloid leukemia is a neoplasm characterized by recurrent molecular aberrations traditionally demonstrated by cytogenetic analyses. We used high density genome-wide genotyping and gene expression profiling to reveal acquired cryptic abnormalities in acute myeloid leukemia. By genome-wide genotyping of 137 cases of primary acute myeloid leukemia, we disclosed a recurrent focal amplification on chromosome 14q32, which included the genes BCL11B, CCNK, C14orf177 and SETD3, in two cases. In the affected cases, the BCL11B gene showed consistently high mRNA expression, whereas the expression of the other genes was unperturbed. Fluorescence in situ hybridization on 40 cases of acute myeloid leukemia with high BCL11B mRNA expression [ 2.5-fold above median; 40 out of 530 cases (7.5%)] revealed 14q32 abnormalities in two additional cases. In the four BCL11B-rearranged cases the 14q32 locus was fused to different partner chromosomes. In fact, in two cases, we demonstrated that the focal 14q32 amplifications were integrated into transcriptionally active loci. The translocations involving BCL11B result in increased expression of full-length BCL11B protein. The BCL11B-rearranged acute myeloid leukemias expressed both myeloid and T-cell markers. These biphenotypic acute leukemias all carried FLT3 internal tandem duplications, a characteristic marker of acute myeloid leukemia. BCL11B mRNA expression in acute myeloid leukemia appeared to be strongly associated with expression of other T-cell-specific genes. Myeloid 32D(GCSF-R) cells ectopically expressing Bcl11b showed decreased proliferation rate and less maturation. In conclusion, by an integrated approach involving high-throughput genome-wide genotyping and gene expression profiling we identified BCL11B as a candidate oncogene in acute myeloid leukemia.