Mechanisms for long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) function. (A) LncRNAs (in red) are able to recruit chromatin modifiers mediating the deposition of activatory (green dots) or repressive (red dots) histone marks. (B) LncRNAs control the recruitment of transcription factors and core components of the transcriptional machinery. (C) LncRNAs can directly bind mRNAs and modulate splicing events. (D-E) LncRNAs participate in the higher order organization of the nucleus by mediating chromatin looping (D) and as structural components for the formation and function of nuclear bodies (E). (F) LncRNAs control translation rates favoring or inhibiting polysome loading to mRNAs. (G) LncRNAs modulate mRNA decay protecting mRNA from degradation or, alternatively, mediating the recruitment of degradation machinery. (H) LncRNAs can act as miRNA sponges, thus favoring the expression of the mRNAs targeted by the sequestered miRNA.