It is known that DNA is a well-characterized intracellular target but its size and sequential characteristics make it an elusive target for selective drug action. Binding of low molecular weight ligands to DNA causes a variety of significant biological responses. In this context the main consideration is given to recent developments in DNA sequence selective binding agents bearing conjugated effectors because of their potential application in treatment of cancers, in diagnosis as well as in molecular biology. In the present review recent results about analogues of netropsins, distamycin A and of some lexitropsins and combilexins or related hybrid molecules with sequence reading, intercalating or alkylating activity are described and evaluated for prospective applications. Furthermore there exists DNA minor groove binder with different basic structures which does not possess the typical polyamide chain, including dimeric intercalating chromophores. Finally new results about peptide nucleic acids and related nucleic acid bases linked with polyamides are reported. In pronounced examples the structural chemistry, synthesis, DNA binding with several biophysical methods, molecular aspects, structure activity relationship, topoisomerase inhibition, antitumour and antibacterial effects are discussed in detail.