Dysregulation of cellular membrane homeostasis as a crucial modulator of cancer risk.
Cellular membranes serve as an epicentre combining extracellular and cytosolic components with membranous effectors, which together support numerous fundamental cellular signalling pathways that mediate biological responses. To execute their functions, membrane proteins, lipids and carbohydrates arrange, in a highly coordinated manner, into well-defined assemblies displaying diverse biological and biophysical characteristics that modulate several signalling events. The loss of membrane homeostasis can trigger oncogenic signalling. More recently, it has been documented that select membrane active dietaries (MADs) can reshape biological membranes and subsequently decrease cancer risk. In this review, we emphasize the significance of membrane domain structure, organization and their signalling functionalities as well as how loss of membrane homeostasis can steer aberrant signalling. Moreover, we describe in detail the complexities associated with the examination of these membrane domains and their association with cancer. Finally, we summarize the current literature on MADs and their effects on cellular membranes, including various mechanisms of dietary chemoprevention/interception and the functional links between nutritional bioactives, membrane homeostasis and cancer biology.