The close association between telomere length and radiosensitivity has been established by several studies. There is also a hypothesis that telomere length may be regulated by human protection of telomere 1 (hPOT1) in human carcinoma cells. In the present study, the hPOT1 level between the radioresistant Hep-2R cells and the wild-type were compared, and the results showed that the hPOT1 gene was upregulated in the radioresistant Hep-2R cell lines compared with the wild-type. This suggested that the expression level of hPOT1 correlates with radiosensitivity. Additionally, an hPOT1-directed short hairpin (sh)RNA plasmid was constructed and transferred into the Hep-2R cells, which lead to telomere shortening, an increase in apoptosis and markedly decreased growth of the RNAi-Hep-2R cell line. These results demonstrate that hPOT1-directed shRNAs are associated with telomere length and radiosensitivity, and maybe a potent sensitizer for laryngeal cancer radiotherapy.