DNA binding and photocleavage characteristics of a series of mixed-ligand complexes of the type [M(phen)2LL]n+ (where M = Co(III), Ni(II) or Ru(II), LL = 1,10-phenanthroline (phen), phenanthroline-dione (phen-dione) or dipyridophenazine (dppz) andn = 3 or 2) have been investigated in detail. Various physico-chemical and biochemical techniques including UV/Visible, fluorescence and viscometric titration, thermal denaturation, and differential pulse voltammetry have been employed to probe the details of DNA binding by these complexes; intrinsic binding constants (Kb) have been estimated under a similar set of experimental conditions. Analysis of the results suggests that intercalative ability of the coordinated ligands varies as dppz>phen>phen-dione in this series of complexes. While the Co(II) and Ru(II) complexes investigated in this study effect photocleavage of the supercoiled pBR 322 DNA, the corresponding Ni(II) complexes are found to be inactive under similar experimental conditions. Results of detailed investigations carried out inquiring into the mechanistic aspects of DNA photocleavage by [Co(phen)2(dppz)]3+ have also been reported.