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  1. null (Ed.)
    B-cells undergo somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation in germinal centers. Somatic hypermutated germinal center B-cells (GCBs) compete to engage with and capture antigens on follicular dendritic cells. Recent studies show that when encountering membrane antigens, GCBs generate actin-rich pod-like structures with B-cell receptor (BCR) microclusters to facilitate affinity discrimination. While deficiencies in actin regulators, including the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp), cause B-cell affinity maturation defects, the mechanism by which actin regulates BCR signaling in GBCs is not fully understood. Using WASp knockout (WKO) mice that express Lifeact-GFP and live-cell total internal reflection fluorescence imaging, this study examined the role of WASp-mediated branched actin polymerization in the GCB immunological synapse. After rapid spreading on antigen-coated planar lipid bilayers, GCBs formed microclusters of phosphorylated BCRs and proximal signaling molecules at the center and the outer edge of the contact zone. The centralized signaling clusters localized at actin-rich GCB membrane protrusions. WKO reduced the centralized micro-signaling clusters by decreasing the number and stability of F-actin foci supporting GCB membrane protrusions. The actin structures that support the spreading membrane also appeared less frequently and regularly in WKO than in WT GCBs, which led to reductions in both the level and rate of GCB spreading and antigen gathering. Our results reveal essential roles for WASp in the generation and maintenance of unique structures for GCB immunological synapses. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Updatable encryption (UE) is an attractive primitive, which allows the secret key of the outsourced encrypted data to be updated to a fresh one periodically. Several elegant works exist studying various security properties. We notice several major issues in existing security models of (ciphertext dependent) updatable encryption, in particular, integrity and CCA security. The adversary in the models is only allowed to request the server to re-encrypt honestly generated ciphertext, while in practice, an attacker could try to inject arbitrary ciphertexts into the server as she wishes. Those malformed ciphertext could be updated and leveraged by the adversary and cause serious security issues. In this paper, we fill the gap and strengthen the security definitions in multiple aspects: most importantly our integrity and CCA security models remove the restriction in previous models and achieve standard notions of integrity and CCA security in the setting of updatable encryption. Along the way, we refine the security model to capture post-compromise security and enhance the re-encryption indistinguishability to the CCA style. Guided by the new models, we provide a novel construction ReCrypt+, which satisfies our strengthened security definitions. The technical building block of homomorphic hash from a group may be of independent interests. We also study the relations among security notions; and a bit surprisingly, the folklore result in authenticated encryption that IND-CPA plus ciphertext integrity imply IND-CCA security does not hold for ciphertext dependent updatable encryption. 
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