Histone modifications are a crucial source of epigenetic control. SAGA (Spt-Ada-Gcn5 acetyltransferase) is a chromatin-modifying complex that contains two distinct enzymatic activities, Gcn5 and Ubp8, through which it acetylates and deubiquitinates histone residues, respectively, thereby enforcing a pattern of modifications that is decisive in regulating gene expression. Here, I discuss the latest contributions to understanding the roles of the SAGA complex, highlighting the characterization of the SAGA-deubiquitination module, and emphasizing the functions newly ascribed to SAGA during transcription elongation and messenger-RNA export. These findings suggest that a crosstalk exists between chromatin remodelling, transcription and messenger-RNA export, which could constitute a checkpoint for accurate gene expression. I focus particularly on the new components of human SAGA, which was recently discovered and confirms the conservation of the SAGA complex throughout evolution.