The terminal sequences of long cDNAs from human brains were subjected to an improved method of motif-trap screening. This process resulted in the identification of three novel genes that encode proteins with 27, 27, and six cadherin domains that we denoted as KIAA1773, KIAA1774 and KIAA1775, respectively. Sequence analysis indicated that the products of these genes were non-classical cadherins. KIAA1773 was found to be a mammalian homologue of the Drosophila dachsous gene but the remaining two genes did not have any likely homologues in public databases. Assessment of their expression in rat tissues indicated that these genes are expressed in highly distinct and tissue-specific patterns. Notably, KIAA1775 is expressed almost exclusively in the olfactory bulb in the rat brain. In situ hybridization further showed that KIAA1775 is strongly expressed by the mitral and tufted cells in the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, suggesting that KIAA1775 may be important in the formation and maintenance of neuronal networks, particularly those in the olfactory bulb. This study clearly shows the importance and usefulness of our cDNA project in search for genes encoding large proteins, as this project has allowed us to identify several novel non-classical cadherin genes that have thus far not been detected by conventional methods.