NKX2 homeobox family proteins have a role in cancer development. Here we show that NKX2-3 is overexpressed in tumour cells from a subset of patients with marginal-zone lymphomas, but not with other B-cell malignancies. While Nkx2-3-deficient mice exhibit the absence of marginal-zone B cells, transgenic mice with expression of NKX2-3 in B cells show marginal-zone expansion that leads to the development of tumours, faithfully recapitulating the principal clinical and biological features of human marginal-zone lymphomas. NKX2-3 induces B-cell receptor signalling by phosphorylating Lyn/Syk kinases, which in turn activate multiple integrins (LFA-1, VLA-4), adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, MadCAM-1) and the chemokine receptor CXCR4. These molecules enhance migration, polarization and homing of B cells to splenic and extranodal tissues, eventually driving malignant transformation through triggering NF-κB and PI3K-AKT pathways. This study implicates oncogenic NKX2-3 in lymphomagenesis, and provides a valid experimental mouse model for studying the biology and therapy of human marginal-zone B-cell lymphomas.