Microarray analyses combined with laser-capture microdissection have been applied for risk assessments of gastric cancer as well as for identification of novel genes associated with gastric cancer. EST AA393089 derived from an unknown gene has been reported to be frequently down-regulated in intestinal-type gastric cancer. Here, we identified and characterized the gene corresponding to EST AA393089 by using bioinformatics. EST AA393089 overlapped with BC016047 cDNA, and BC016047 overlapped with EST BM821052. Because the mRNA determined by assembling BM821052 and BC016047 was derived from a novel Claudin (CLDN) family gene, the gene corresponding to EST AA393089 was designated CLDN23. Human CLDN23 mRNA was expressed in germinal center B cells, placenta, stomach as well as in colon tumor. Mouse AK009330 and AK037108 cDNAs were derived from mouse Cldn23 gene. Human CLDN23 (292 aa) and mouse Cldn23 (296 aa) were four-transmembrane proteins, showing 79.5% total-amino-acid identity. WWCC motif, defined by W-X(17-22)-W-X(2)-C-X(8-10)-C, was conserved among four-transmembrane proteins of CLDN family. CLDN23 gene, linked to MFHAS1 and PPP1R3B genes, was mapped to human chromosome 8p23.1. CLDN21, CLDN22, and CLDN24 genes were also identified in this study. CLDN21 and CLDN22 genes were located within human genomic contig NT_022792.13. CLDN24 gene on human chromosome 11q23 was located within human genomic contig NT_033899.3. Among 23 CLDN family genes within the human genome, CLDN1 and CLDN16 genes were clustered on human chromosome 3q28, CLDN3 and CLDN4 on 7q11, CLDN6 and CLDN9 on 16p13.3, CLDN8 and CLDN17 on 21q22.11, CLDN21 and CLDN22 on 4q35.1. This is the first report on comprehensive characterization of CLDN23 gene, a candidate tumor suppressor gene implicated in intestinal-type gastric cancer.