Protection of telomeres 1 (POT1) is a telomere-binding protein, which binds to the single-stranded DNA extensions of telomeres and regulates telomere length. Different POT1 mRNA variants were examined and compared with telomere length and radiosensitivity in colon and gastric adenocarcinoma cells. POT1 production and telomere lengths were assessed using 10 human cancer cell lines by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). POT1 mRNA levels, which were relatively stable, were significantly correlated with telomere length in gastric cancer cells and colon cancer cells, except for HT29 (P<0.01). POT1 v5 indexes were closely associated with radiosensitivity in colon cancer cells and gastric cancer cells (P<0.05). In conclusion, POT1 may be a good marker for the examination of cell-specific telomere length and radiosensitivity.