ZAP-70 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is associated with enhanced response to microenvironmental stimuli. We analyzed the functional consequences of ZAP-70 ectopic expression in malignant B-cells in a xenograft mouse model of disseminated B-cell leukemia. Mice injected with B-cells expressing ZAP-70 showed a prominently higher infiltration of the bone marrow. In vitro analysis of the response of malignant B-cells to CXCL12, the main attracting chemokine regulating trafficking of lymphocytes to the bone marrow, or to bone marrow stromal cells, revealed that ZAP-70 induces an increased response in terms of signaling and migration. These effects are probably mediated by direct participation of ZAP-70 in CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling since CXCR4 stimulation led to activation of ZAP-70 and downstream signaling pathways, such as MAPK and Akt, whereas ZAP-70 did not alter the expression of the CXCR4 receptor. In addition, subclones of primary CLL cells with high expression of ZAP-70 also showed increased migrative capacity toward CXCL12. Neutralization of CXCR4 with a monoclonal antibody resulted in impaired in vitro responses to CXCL12 and bone marrow stromal cells. We conclude that ZAP-70 enhances the migration of malignant B-cells into the supportive microenvironment found in the bone marrow mainly by enhancing signaling and migration after CXCR4 stimulation. © 2013 Calpe et al.