A 20-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of fever and knee joint pain on March 20, 1986. Physical examination revealed generalized lymphadenopathy and hepatomegaly. White blood cell count was 32,800 microliters with 74.4% blast cells. Bone marrow was hypercellular with 93.6% blast cells. Blast cells were weakly positive for acid phosphatase and PAS stainings but were negative for peroxidase, sudan black B and esterase stainings. Cell surface marker analysis of blast cells disclosed that they were positive for anti-HLA-DR, CD19, CD24, CD33 and CD38, but were negative for CD10 and CD20. Cytoplasmic immunoglobulin of blast cells was negative and TdT activity by immunofluorescent method was positive. Chromosomal analysis of bone marrow samples revealed normal karyotype. Therefore, this case was diagnosed as having acute lymphoblastic leukemia (L2) and achieved complete remission with LVP therapy consisting of 1-asparaginase, vincristine and prednisolone. Gene analysis of blast cells disclosed germ-line configuration of both the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene and T cell receptor beta chain gene. We speculated that the phenotype of leukemic cells might precede the genotype in some cases of acute leukemia.