The biological roles of estrogen-responsive finger protein (efp) in vivo were evaluated in mice carrying a loss-of-function mutation in efp by gene-targeted mutagenesis. Although efp homozygous mice were viable and fertile in both sexes, the uterus that expressed abundant estrogen receptor α exhibited significant underdevelopment. When the ovariectomized homozygotes were subjected to 17β-estradiol treatment, they showed remarkably attenuated responses to estrogen, as exemplified by decreased interstitial water imbibition and retarded endometrial cell increase, at least, attributable to the lower ratio of G1 to S-phase progression in epithelial cells. These results suggest that efp is essential for the normal estrogen-induced cell proliferation and uterine swelling as one of the direct targets of estrogen receptor α
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