Many drugs that are applied in anticancer therapy such as the anthracycline doxorubicin contain DNA-intercalating 9,10-anthraquinone (AQ) moieties. When Cu(II) cyclen complexes were functionalized with up to three (2-anthraquinonyl)methyl substituents, they efficiently inhibited DNA and RNA synthesis resulting in high cytotoxicity (selective for cancer cells) accompanied by DNA condensation/aggregation phenomena. Molecular modeling suggests an unusual bisintercalation mode with only one base pair between the two AQ moieties and the metal complex as a linker. A regioisomer, in which the AQ moieties point in directions unfavorable for such an interaction, had a much weaker biological activity. The ligands alone and corresponding Zn(II) complexes (used as redox inert control compounds) also exhibited lower activity.