The relative activities of neutral, cationic, and anionic chromium ascorbate complexes toward isolated human mitochondrial and genomic DNA were investigated at physiologically relevant conditions by agarose gel electrophoresis. A direct relationship between the charge of the Cr(III) species and their DNA-damaging properties was found. The cationic species were found to be fully capable of DNA-cleavage, even in short incubation periods. Incubations were also performed in the presence of amino acids. No apparent effect was observed under the applied experimental conditions to facilitate or prevent damage through the ternary amino acid-Cr-DNA adduct formation or binary chromium-amino acid complex formation.