The authors report on a method for the multicolor imaging of cell surface proteins which is based on the labeling of carrier protein (CP) fusion proteins with different fluorophores. In one application, different generations of a cell surface protein can be sequentially labeled to discriminate between old and newly made copies. In another application, fusions to different CPs can be selectively labeled with different fluorophores in one sample. Both applications open up new ways for studying the properties of cell surface proteins of living cells. [on SciFinder (R)]