Nucleolytic activities of some new oxime-type ligand complexes were investigated by neutral agarose gel electrophoresis. Analysis of the cleavage products in agarose gel indicated that all complexes used converted supercoiled pUC18 plasmid DNA to its nicked or linear form. It was found that nucleolytic activities of the complexes depend on the complex concentration, reaction time and the presence of a cooxidant (magnesium monoperoxyphthalate, MMPP) in the reaction mixture. However, the complexes cleaved pUC18 plasmid DNA at all investigated pH values. Nucleolytic activities of complexes were investigated for different complex concentrations (0.1-100 mu mol L(-1)), pH values (6.0-10.0) and reaction times (0-60 min). Molecular modeling studies performed by the Hyperchem Software together with DNA-binding studies showed that planar sites of the complexes intercalated into double stranded DNA. It can be concluded that all oxime-type ligand complexes used can be evaluated as nuclease mimics.