Methods for making the functionalized glycoconjugates include (a) contacting a cell with a first monosaccharide, and (b) incubating the cell under conditions whereby the cell (i) internalizes the first monosaccharide, (ii) biochemically processes the first monosaccharide into a second saccharide, (iii) conjugates the saccharide to a carrier to form a glycoconjugate, and (iv) extracellularly expresses the glycoconjugate to form an extracellular glycoconjugate comprising a selectively reactive functional group. Methods for forming products at a cell further comprise contacting the functional group of the extracellularly expressed glycoconjugate with an agent which selectively reacts with the functional group to form a product. Subject compositions include cyto-compatible monosaccharides comprising a nitrogen or ether linked functional group selectively reactive at a cell surface and compositions and cells comprising such saccharides.
The research carried out in the subject application was supported in part by grants from the Department of Energy (Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098). The government may have rights in any patent issuing on this application.