The HIV-1 accessory protein Vpu counteracts a host factor that restricts virion release from infected cells. Here we show that the interferon-induced cellular protein BST-2/HM1.24/CD317 is such a factor. BST-2 is downregulated from the cell surface by Vpu, and BST-2 is specifically expressed in cells that support the vpu phenotype. Exogenous expression of BST-2 inhibits HIV-1 virion release, while suppression of BST-2 relieves the requirement for Vpu. Downregulation of BST-2 requires both the transmembrane/ion channel domain and conserved serines in the cytoplasmic domain of Vpu. Endogenous BST-2 colocalizes with the HIV-1 structural protein Gag in endosomes and at the plasma membrane, suggesting that BST-2 traps virions within and on infected cells. The unusual structure of BST-2, which includes a transmembrane domain and a lumenal GPI anchor, may allow it to retain nascent enveloped virions on cellular membranes, providing a mechanism of viral restriction counteracted by a specific viral accessory protein.