Vpu is an 81 amino acid type I integral membrane protein encoded by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). It is identified to support viral release by potentially forming ion and substrate conducting channels and by modulating the function of host factors. The focus is on the interaction of the transmembrane domains of Vpu with those of host factors using a combination of molecular dynamics simulations and docking approach. Binding poses and adopted tilt angles of the dimers are analyzed and correlated with experimentally derived activity data from literature. Vpu activity is driven by dimerization with the host protein via its alanine rim Ala-8/11/15/19. Tight binding is shown by an almost parallel alignment of the helices in the dimers. Less parallel alignment is proposed to correlate with lower activity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Viral Membrane Proteins - Channels for Cellular Networking.