A review. The interplay between carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins dets. the stability and flexibility as well as the adhesive and responsive features of the surfaces of all cells. The mol. understanding of the interactions among and between the different classes of these biomols. is rudimentary at best, a lack of suitable exptl. methods being the major reason. Here we discuss a new approach for the specific labeling of fusion proteins of carrier proteins with synthetic compds. on cell surfaces and describe how this approach can be used to investigate the properties of the labeled mols. [on SciFinder (R)]