DNA polymerase eta (Pol η) is one of several Y family trans-lesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases in humans and plays an important role in maintaining genome stability after ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, as it carries out error-free TLS at sites of UV-induced lesions. We performed site-directed mutagenesis of human polymerase η gene (Y52E), confirmed by sequencing, then cloned wild-type mutant and POLH genes into the eukaryotic vector pEGFP-N1. After transfecting wild-type and mutant plasmids into HaCaT keratinocytes, we tested for UV induced cis-syn cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPDs) DNA lesions, and analysed cellular viability by MTT cell proliferation assay. The results showed that CPD levels decreased both with empty vector control (EVC), wild-type POLH, and Y52E-POLH over 48 hours post UV irradiation with 0.1 mW/cm2 UVB for 15 minutes (p = 0.025). The rate in CPD reduction of mutant POLH was less than in wild-type POLH. Cell viabilities of all three groups increased over 48 hours after UV irradiation, with the increased rate in the wild-type being higher than for mutant protein (p = 0.046). We conclude that Y52E POLH has reduced capacity to bypass UV-induced DNA lesions in HaCaT cells.